Crane happy with ‘good’ headlines
Ben Crane was pleased to put a difficult couple of months behind him with his third PGA Tour victory on Sunday.
Ben Crane was pleased to put a difficult couple of months behind him by claiming a long-awaited third PGA Tour career victory at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The American, who inadvertently found himself caught up in the Tiger Woods scandal last year, picked up his first title since the 2005 US Bank Championship with a one-stroke win in San Diego.
In December, Crane had been horrified to find his name attributed in a gossip magazine to a quote he never made, supposedly given to a reporter at a tournament in which he had not even been playing.
“Obviously being in the news a month ago was bizarre,” Crane said.
“Someone made some stuff up that I said something about Tiger, which I didn’t.
“Now to be in the news again, it’s obviously good to be on a good note.”
A bogey at the 17th had left Crane to withstand a nervy finish before claiming victory from compatriot Brandt Snedeker and Australian duo Michael Sim and Marc Leishman. A solid par at the last gave him a closing two-under-par 70, having started the day two strokes behind 54-hole leader Ryuji Imada of Japan.
Like Imada, who finished three shots back, world number two Phil Mickelson also faded from contention as he struggled in his hometown on the final day.
The left-hander started four strokes behind Imada but was quickly on the back foot with three bogeys in a row to open and the American finished with a one-over 73 to close at eight under for the week.
“It happens,” Mickelson said. “I felt I was ready, though. I was really excited about playing. Maybe I was a little over-anxious.”
The left-hander will now take a short trip north to Los Angeles to prepare for his title defence in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club, starting on Thursday.
“My timing was off a little bit this week, and today’s putts didn’t quite go in the hole even though they were catching the edges most of the time. I feel like I have direction for me to work on the next few days.
“To make bogeys early on was costly. But again, I hit some good shots the last 14 holes, and although there’s nothing I can do about it this week, I feel like my game is coming around and hopefully I should be ready to go by next Thursday.”
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