Ben Crane wins first title since 2010

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 FedEx St Jude Classic | 09 Jun 2014

It is not often that a winner of a PGA Tour event takes out a title with a final round of 73 and where no birdies are recorded.

Today Ben Crane did just that. He would win the Fed E St Jude Classic by one shot over Troy Merritt and claim his first victory since October 2010.

Webb Simpson, Mat Every and Carl Pettersson were tied for 3rd.

Crane talked after his win about reaching the point where he might have looked at doing something else with his life.

“This has been a really tough year and I know you guys know about the changes and stuff I made in my game but it’s really — really came out of life issues of okay, I mean I had to finally become okay with golf not being in the picture; just felt like things were going in that direction and so I just got to the place where I just said, "Lord, if it’s not golf, I’ll will love You. But if it is, that would be really fun but I know You’ll provide something else that will be just as meaningful."

“So, I love the game but the game is hard and sometimes the harder you try the harder the game gets. But I just really simplified everything at Byron Nelson Week and just got a little momentum going, finished 37th place but that felt like just a huge lift to me and then I went to the U.S. Open qualifier after two weeks off.

“I didn’t get in The Colonial which is like one of my favourite tournaments and so that was a bummer. I went to the qualifier after two weeks off and I played terrible. It was a wake-up call.

“I really buckled down and did a lot of imagery work in my head, talked to my mental coach and really tried to get ready for Thursday here and I did not expect the hole to hop up like that, start making putts from everywhere. Just hit a lot of quality shots and obviously built a nice lead to start out with.”

From his current position outside the top 250 in the world, the win will take Crane to around 100 in the world, not enough to get him into this week’s US Open but a chance to target the majors ahead.

But he is not about to get ahead of himself but rather begin to enjoy the moment and enjoy it with others. “Everyone has their battles,” he said. " My battle is letting my mind relax and obviously comes out in pace of play and, so, that’s something that I need to continue to work on.

“So, anyway, I just — this win is different, different for me. I want to treat it differently and I really want to enjoy it. I don’t want to act like there’s five more behind it. I want to celebrate it with my friends and my wife and my kids who probably watched me play on TV today for the first time and kind of recognize what was going on, they’re 7 and 5 and are youngest is 2.

“So, our two and a half year old girl says, you know, I get on Skype, “Daddy, are you” — “daddy, you at golf tournament?” So, anyway it’s fun, they can kind of see what I’m up to, anyway."

It was not a good week for the Australians with Stuart Appleby the best of them in 58th position although New Zealanders Danny Lee and Tim Wilkinson tied for 32nd.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

    Read all of Bruce's articles »

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