Ben Crenshaw, one of the greatest putters in history, put together a 5-under 67 on day two of the Boeing Classic Champions Tour event outside Seattle. The two-time Masters titlist was unhappy with his putter, though, saying he could have done better at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge course.

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SNOQUALMIE — It hardly seemed possible.

Ben Crenshaw, one of the greatest putters in history, was unhappy with his flat stick.

The man who has two green jackets, in large part from taming the treacherous greens at the Masters, shot a 5-under 67 Saturday at the Boeing Classic but said it could have been better.

He missed some makable putts finishing up at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, including about a 6-footer on the par-3 ninth, his finishing hole of the day.

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“I left a couple of shots out there,” said the affable Hall of Famer from Texas, who moved from 37th place into a tie for 13th with his best round since April. “I really hit some nice irons coming in [including one that skipped past the hole on the ninth], but didn’t always convert. I am just doubting my reads some on my putts. I hit what I think are good putts, and they aren’t going in.”

Still, Crenshaw was quite happy with his play, an emotion he hasn’t felt in a while.

“I was just awful the past two events [a missed cut in the U.S. Senior Open and a tie for 52nd at the Jeld-Wen Tradition], and the 73 in the first round was pretty mediocre,” said Crenshaw, still looking for his first career Champions Tour win in his seventh season. “I’ve been down on my game, so I just wanted to play good golf.”

That he did. After falling to 2 over for the event after a bogey on the 11th, he made six birdies and 10 pars the rest of the way.

“I really got into a nice rhythm with my irons, and I just hope that continues [Sunday],” he said.

And there is always that golden putter, even if the modest Crenshaw isn’t buying into his reputation as one of the best ever.

“Really, that is a misnomer,” Crenshaw said. “I don’t make nearly as many putts as I used to.”

Switching sports

The high-school coach who told John Cook to give up football and concentrate on golf is walking the course supporting him this week.

Wilbur Lucas, 73, lives outside Fife. He coached Cook in football and golf at Miraleste High School outside Los Angeles. He said Cook was a decent quarterback as a freshman and sophomore, but short, and that he told Cook, “You have a chance for a scholarship in golf and who knows, maybe a professional golf career.”

Lucas said Cook is the only player he ever suggested drop a sport.

Cook got a scholarship to Ohio State, won the U.S. Amateur, won 11 times on Tour, and is tied for sixth place at 6-under 138 after shooting 6-under Saturday.


• After playing partners Phil Blackmar and Joe Ozaki took the gamble on the par-4 14th hole, going for the green over the canyon, Ed Dougherty told the gallery it might want to look away.

He wasn’t going to attempt the 278-yard carry over the canyon, and was electing to lay up. Despite encouragement to give it a shot, he stuck with his plan. Alas, he made a par, while Blackmar and Ozaki made birdies.

Ed Wintermyer, a bartender at the TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge, found a 1980 set of PGA Tour collector cards in an Issaquah antique store five months ago and bought them for $6. About 20 players in the set are in the Boeing Classic and they have autographed the cards for him after he put them on display outside the locker room.

Seattle Times staff reporter Craig Smith contributed to this story.

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