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It has been three years since Ben Crane has notched a top-20 finish on the PGA Tour, and he will look to change that in a big way heading into the weekend at the 2022 Bermuda Championship. Commanding the solo lead at 14 under, the 46-year-old will be playing with house money after not even being in the field this time last week.

Gaining entry via a late sponsor's exemption, Crane is taking full advantage of his opportunity through two days at Port Royal Golf Course. After opening his tournament with a 5-under 66, Crane was impressive in his second round, getting around the Robert Trent Jones design at 9 under to propel his name to the top of the leaderboard.

In what would be a bonus in his career, a victory for Crane would mean invitations into the Masters, PGA Championship, Players Championship and the Tournament of Champions. However, with weather rolling into Bermuda late on Friday, Crane will not only need to fend off his competition, but also Mother Nature over the final 36 holes.

Just one stroke off of Crane's pace is another PGA Tour veteran, Aaron Baddeley. The Australian joins Crane as a seasoned presence on the first page of the leaderboard, and he is accompanied by young guns Robby Shelton, Austin Smotherman and Ben Griffin at 13 under.

The leader

1. Ben Crane (-14)

The top-20 result mentioned above occurred at the 2019 Bermuda Championship as Crane has made a habit of teeing it up in this tournament. While the potential for Crane to notch a victory this late in his career would make for an unbelievable story, he will have the odds stacked against him over the final 36 holes. In 11 starts last season between the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA Tour, Crane missed eight cuts and was unable to collect a top-60 result, proving how much of an outlier his performance has been thus far. 

"I mean, couldn't be more encouraged. Obviously played the best golf I've played in a long time, and to be in this tournament is super encouraging, get to play four rounds," said Crane. "You know, I don't get in a lot and then to get in and the weather starts getting bad right when I finished. So, really cool to shoot 62. That 29 on the back, I didn't see it coming, but it adds up to 29, super fun day."

Other contenders

T2. Adam Schenk, Aaron Baddeley, Robby Shelton, Ben Griffin, Austin Smotherman (-13)

T7. Seamus Power, Kevin Yu, Zecheng Dou, Nico Echavarria, Dylan Wu (-12)

It is not about how you start, but how you finish. Beginning the week by forgetting his golf clubs at home, Schenk has shot himself into contention heading into the weekend. Playing beautifully over the last month and capturing top-20 finishes at the Shriners Children's Open and Zozo Championship, not even a logistical hiccup could slow down the Purdue product.

"We packed our car 5 a.m. or so and we went inside to say goodbye to our dog, Bunker. Walked right passed the clubs that were packed in the garage. Showed up at the airport and opened the trunk and they weren't there," said Schenk. "My wife and I looked at each other and like, well, I guess we've got to go back. And then we were looking for flights, which was a nightmare. Obviously it's tough to get here, not many flights in and out, but found a Jet Blue flight that got me here Wednesday and then one opened up, a direct flight from Boston on Tuesday, so we ended up booking that one."

The weather has arrived

Murmurs of a shortened event reverberated around Port Royal GC earlier in the week with a tropical storm in the forecast. While players were spared the wrath of Mother Nature in the first round, those off in the afternoon on Friday were not as lucky. With bad weather rolling into Bermuda, the weekend is sure to be action-packed as players deal with not only nerves of a potentially life-changing victory, but also the elements. 

These kids are good

It's a great time to be a Tennessee Volunteer as freshman Caleb Surratt made his way through to the weekend in his PGA Tour debut. Finishing runner-up at the U.S. Junior Amateur this past summer, and more recently winning in his collegiate debut, the 18-year-old's presence over the weekend goes to show just how deep the talent pool is in the world of golf.

2022 Bermuda Championship updated odds and picks

Odds via Caesars Sportsbook

  • Robby Shelton: 6-1
  • Adam Schenk: 7-1
  • Seamus Power: 15/2
  • Austin Smotherman: 10-1
  • Ben Griffin: 11-1
  • Thomas Detry: 16-1
  • Aaron Baddeley: 16-1
  • Zecheng Dou: 16-1
  • Kevin Yu: 18-1
  • Ben Crane: 22-1
  • Denny McCarthy: 22-1

Schenk was my selection earlier in the week, and there is still belief he will capture his first win on the PGA Tour. He is currently listed at 7-1, and with so much golf yet to be played in unison with some poor weather, it may be wise to venture down the odds board instead. 

Chesson Hadley is an intriguing option at 80-1 and has caught my attention. Hadley entered the week as one of the best iron players and par-3 scorer in this field, and he is only five strokes off the lead at 9 under. With the weather only getting worse, those two areas of the game will be tested, which should allow him to claw back into contention come Sunday afternoon.