His sensational start as a golf professional—he won and was second in his first two tournaments as a pro—has made 21-year-old Ben Crenshaw a most marketable commodity. Crenshaw's pleasant good looks and remarkable golfing ability brought the commercial flies abuzzing, and he was quickly asked to endorse everything from shaving cream to snow tires. However, his financial advisers are saying no for the time being. "The offers that Ben has received are unbelievable," says Bill Sansing, one of Crenshaw's business agents who also serves as one of Jack Nicklaus' financial pros. "If we accepted even half of them, Ben would be set financially for many years. But after consulting Nicklaus and Ben's father Charley, we decided that the wisest move at this time is not to accept any of them. About the only agreement we have made is with the advisory staff of a golf magazine.
"Nicklaus says that a young golfer should get out and play golf, and not worry about money—that will come if Crenshaw is half the golfer all of us think he is. Jack says he has seen many young golfers hurt their careers by getting dollar signs in their eyes. So for a year or two Ben will get practically no commercial exposure away from the golf course."
In the meantime Crenshaw won't starve. He won $76,749 in his first two starts, and if he were to continue at that fantastic rate he would earn $600,000 in 1974. Who needs endorsements?
HI THERE, SPORTS FANS
A man in Illinois has a 7-year-old son who learned to read last year in the first grade and has since consolidated his skill by regularly reading newspaper sports sections. One day not long ago he asked his father if he had ever been in the hospital. The father replied no, he hadn't, not ever. The boy looked at him for a moment or two and said, "One of these days you'll have a heart attack and have to go to the hospital." Pause. "That'll break up your no-hitter."