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Another Go-Round for Crenshaw & Longtime Looper
Though they didn't have the desired score in Thursday's opening round, Ben Crenshaw and his longtime caddie at the Masters, Carl Jackson, enjoyed their time together. The two have been paired since 1976, and the 2011 Masters is the 50th looped by Jackson.
Crenshaw has won a green jacket twice with Jackson on his bag, and the two have been close friends ever since. Despite posting a 6-over 78 in the first round, Crenshaw lauded the work by the 64-year-old Jackson, who's now the caddie master at Alotian Golf Club in Arkansas.
The two later met with reporters and discussed their day. Here's what they had to say.
Q. Augusta is about legacies and traditions, and you guys as a team have built quite a tradition and legacy. Can you speak to that?
BEN CRENSHAW: Well, I feel very fortunate to have had him with me all these years. You know, we can certainly look back and see some very, very nice times and some really fine, fun tournaments that we didn't win but we were in the fray a lot. You know, fortunate to win twice, but there's a lot of years. He's spilled a lot of blood for me.
Q. You guys looked like you were working as hard out there over every shot. What's it been like for 50 years and 35 years on Mr. Crenshaw's bag?
CARL JACKSON: Just a pleasure. Just a pleasure. To watch him putt these greens around here those many years, no matter what the outcome, he's always got a chance.
Q. Does he have the best touch of anyone you've seen?
CARL JACKSON: Oh, yes, no doubt. No doubt about that day in and day out, speed putting, touch putting, whatever you call it, it's just -- it makes me look good.
Q. You've been able to take advantage of a lot of accumulated local knowledge.
BEN CRENSHAW: These are the most fascinating greens that anyone has ever come up with. You just scratch your head and say, how am I going to get this pace right? We agree all the time on lines, but it's always the pace. You see the players this week, that's what they're working on. They sometimes know the lines, but to get the right look for the ball going down there, that's what they're looking for. It's really difficult. You know, it's all for him. We've spent most of our lives here. Like he said, I think that's a nice word that he used. It's a pleasure. It's a pleasure to be together around here. I'm convinced I've had the best so far.
Q. What is it about the teamwork that the two of you work so well together here for so many years?
BEN CRENSHAW: Our chemistry started right, right from the beginning. You know, belief in each other. When you're out in the thick of it, that's really fun. That's really fun. It's exciting, and I've always said that this is the most emotional golf course you could ever play in the world. It's wide and inviting, and it tests your bravery a lot of times when you're capable, but it tests your nerve and your skill and your patience.
Q. Carl, why do you think it's lasted so long?
CARL JACKSON: Well, I mean, just like he said, you're going to have nerves, and I'm not afraid to say what I think, what I see, and I'm making a suggestion, and if I'm wrong, I'm hurting more than he is.
Q. What's the gutsiest thing you've told him to do?
CARL JACKSON: It's just been many calls. Many calls.
BEN CRENSHAW: There's an approximation on every shot, and the troublesome thing about yardages out here on this golf course, it doesn't mean much sometimes because you're uphill and downhill and the air is light or it's warm. There's a million things that go into the calculation of a golf shot, an approach shot. And then you're just getting around these greens, then it really gets fun. Each shot in our eyes is an approximation. That's what the game is about.
Q. So it never gets old?
BEN CRENSHAW: No, it's fascinating.
Q. When you're standing with Carl on the first tee, do you say anything about this being his 50th?
BEN CRENSHAW: No, we know what it is.
Q. Did Carl seem more emotional today at all for any reason?
BEN CRENSHAW: No, he did a great job today. His player didn't.
CARL JACKSON: He hit some great putts for saves, missed one putt from close range, but that's all right. He's allowed to do it. He's allowed to be frustrated.
Q. Have you gotten a lot of congratulations this week? Has the crowd kind of connected with you?
CARL JACKSON: I'll tell you, the Augusta Chronicle article and the SI article, then the 50 years, it all just fell just right this week. A lot of people showed their respect.
Q. Isn't there a gold watch or something for that many years? A color TV?
CARL JACKSON: We've got something special. We've got something special.
Q. Care to share?
BEN CRENSHAW: That's between he and I.
Q. Do you see a few more years?
BEN CRENSHAW: That's a tough call.
The transcript for the above interview is courtesy of ASAP Sports.