Crane holds on for PGA win
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ben Crane put his name back in the news for the best reason of all. He won another golf tournament.
Crane made two birdie putts longer than 45 feet to build a big enough cushion that missing a few short putts down the stretch didn’t cost him Sunday in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Crane knocked in a 76-centimetre par putt on the final hole for a 2-under 70 and a one-shot victory over Michael Sim, Brandt Snedeker and Marc Leishman. It was Crane’s third career victory, and first in nearly five years, and this one earned him a trip back to the Masters.
The last time Crane made news, he was inadvertently swept up in the Tiger Woods scandal when a gossip magazine attributed quotes to him that he never made. Life&Style said it spoke to Crane at Q-school, even though Crane was never there.
Calgary’s Stephen Ames fired a 73 to finish tied for 33rd.
Crane handled that situation with the same even hand he displayed on a cool, breezy afternoon along the Pacific bluffs.
Starting the final round two shots behind, he opened with three birdies in five holes, including one from just over 45 feet on No. 3. He expanded his lead to three shots with another 45-foot birdie putt on the 11th.
Then, it was a matter of hanging on.
He had plenty of challengers, although Phil Mickelson wasn’t one of them. Making his season debut, and only four shots behind, Mickelson bogeyed his first three holes and was never a factor.
Robert Allenby made a charge only to fall back by losing five shots in four holes, including a tee shot that vanished into the canyon. Sim, the 25-year-old Australian, kept with Crane the entire round and had his chances to the very end.