Crane running away with it

Ben Crane has opened up an impressive six-shot lead at the weather-affected FedEx St Jude Classic in Memphis.

Storms brought a premature end to Friday’s second-round action at TPC Southwind, with the likes of Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen unable to even tee off.

But Crane was one of the men able to successfully reach the clubhouse with two completed rounds under his belt – following up his excellent first-round 63 with another quality round of five-under-par 65.

That takes his total to 12 under par, a full six shots clear of nearest rivals, Sweden’s Carl Petterson, who has just one hole of his second round to complete and fellow American Jason Bohn, who had two holes left to go.

Crane’s lead might even have been bigger but for a closing bogey at the 18th – his only blemish of the day – but he will be more than satisfied with the six birdies he added over the preceding 17 holes.

And considering the poor season he’s had so far after being forced to make swing changes due to back pain, Crane was as surprised as anyone by his big lead.

“I certainly didn’t expect to be here,” he told the PGA Tour website. “If someone would have told me a couple days ago I’d be standing in front of a bunch of cameras, I would have asked, ‘What did I do?’

“It’s been a really, really hard year. …You start wondering, ‘Am I going to get it back?'”

Davis Love III (70) and Billy Horschel (68) were in at five under and shared fourth spot with their Peter Malnati, another of those who did not even get out on course on Friday.

A couple of big names lie at three under, including Phil Mickelson, Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter, but they will most likely need Crane to fall back over the weekend.

Play will resume at 0700 local time on Saturday (1300BST), when better weather is forecast.