Grading the St. Jude Classic
Ben Crane wins the fifth PGA Tour event of his career and it's pretty crazy that he doesn't get more recognition for that. Here are our grades for the St. Jude Classic.
Ben Crane is kind of the lost Golf Boy.
In a "boy band" era with so many headliners he's the one that is often forgotten. Rickie Fowler has his legions, Bubba Watson has his green jackets, and Hunter Mahan has his Ryder Cup.
Crane? He just has five career PGA Tour victories, including one this week at the St. Jude Classic.
That's as many as a lot of more familiar names and five times as many as both Fowler and the much-ballyhooed Jordan Spieth.
Ben Crane has won his 5th #PGATour title. Same number as Justin Rose, Luke Donald, Tom Lehman, Hunter Mahan, Padraig Harrington, John Daly.— Kieran Clark (@KieranClarkGolf) June 8, 2014
Buoyed by a first-round 63 Crane hung on until the end -- not needing a single birdie on Sunday to defeat Troy Merritt by one stroke.
Crane used a 63-65-69 start and used his throwaway round on Sunday as he fired 73.
On Saturday Crane noted that he hasn't led after 54 holes in a long time.
"I can't remember. It's been awhile," said Crane. "So, certainly thankful to be in this position and obviously love to build on it and love to start playing, you know, conservatively when the opportunity presents itself but you got to take it one shot at a time. Got to play your shots and just keep processing the way I've been doing last few days."
The win still doesn't get Crane into the US Open because he's too far back (No. 267) to get into the top 60, which is the only way he would have qualified before play starts on Thursday.
That's likely of little concern to Crane, though. He hasn't finished in the top 10 at a major in 10 years and is likely more focused on qualifying for the FedEx Cup playoffs and locking up that tour card for two more years.
Plus now he's halfway to double-digit career wins.
Here are our grades for the St. Jude Classic:
|A||Ben Crane has more career winnings ($19.1 million) than David Duval ($18.9 million). I don't know what to do with that stat but it seems important. Finish: Win|
|A||Phil Mickelson's US Open tuneup went just how he wanted it to go. He hit some solid shots and said his game is "close enough" as he takes his first stab at the career slam next week. Crazy that he still doesn't have a top 10 finish this season. Finish: T11|
|A||Rickie Fowler had a quite top 15 finish in Memphis as he fired an under-the-radar 68-69 in the final two rounds. His four-week run of tournaments culminates next week at Pinehurst, is a US Open top 10 in the cards? Finish: T13|
|B||Other than a poor 75 in the third round Dustin Johnson had a tremendous tournament. He's a sneaky pick for the US Open this year. Finish: T24|
|C||I wanted to pick Zach Johnson for Pinehurst next week but he didn't have a great showing this week at Memphis. After an opening-round 64 he shot three straight rounds in the 70s. Finish: T54|
|F||I'm not going to lose my mind about a Lee Westwood missed cut the week before the US Open because of his history at that tournament (three top 10s in the last six yeras). But he can't be thrilled with that 76 in the second round. Finish: Missed Cut|
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