Ben Crane now DQ'd from Web.com Tour Finals event after penalty situation update

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Ben Crane now DQ'd from Web.com Tour Finals event after penalty situation update

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Ben Crane now DQ'd from Web.com Tour Finals event after penalty situation update

It’s been a strange couple of days in golf, and bizarre stuff continues to go down.

Scores at the Evian Championship were wiped out as the event was controversially shortened to 54 holes, Ben Crane was docked eight shots for stickers on his clubs and a missile launch from North Korea suspended play at a tournament in Japan.

Let’s pile on: News has now come down that the Crane situation has escalated. The 41-year-old is no longer the victim of two four-shot penalties, he’s been disqualified all together.

The Web.com Tour announced Friday that Crane had been disqualified from the Albertsons Boise Open, the second of four Web.com Tour Finals events.

We have the full report here on what the whole penalty situation was in the first place, but here’s a refresher: Crane had a decal on two clubs (his driver and 6-iron) when he started first-round play Thursday at Hillcrest Country Club. The presence of the decals – dot stickers he uses to aid in data collection during practice – made each club non-conforming. (Any attachment on the clubface, decals included, renders a club non-conforming.)

Crane said he noticed the driver decal standing on No. 11 tee (his second hole of the round), and at that point he was assessed a four-shot penalty (two for each hole he had a non-conforming club in his bag, per Rule 4-1). Crane said he then noticed the 6-iron decal on No. 14, and he was issued another four-shot penalty, the max for this infraction.

Thus, eight penalty shots.

But Crane told a rules staffer Friday that the story was actually slightly different from that. Crane notified the staffer that he had been aware of the 6-iron decal at the time he noticed the driver decal on No. 11 tee rather than on No. 14.

As Crane failed to declare the 6-iron out of play as soon as he noticed it was non-conforming, he earned a disqualification.

Jim Duncan, the Web.com Tour’s vice president of rules, competition and administration, explained in full why this new information meant a DQ:

“(On Thursday) between the 12th and the 13th holes, (rules official) Andrew Miller confirmed with (Crane) that the driver, that was made aware to us, had to be taken out of play; then he played 13 and part of 14 (carrying) the 6-iron.

“Then he came back (Friday) morning and said he knew he had the 6-iron … he’s got to make a declaration that that club is out of play, either to a member of the committee, which he could’ve told Andrew Miller, or to one of his fellow competitors. When he didn’t make that declaration, at the point he knew he had to take that club out of play, that’s ultimately a disqualification penalty.”

Crane, a five-time PGA Tour winner, is looking to earn back his Tour card after finishing the 2016-17 season 147th in the FedEx Cup standings.

Despite this showing, he’s still got a good chance to do so thanks to a tie for sixth at the opening Web.com Tour Finals event (the top 25 on the Web.com Tour Finals money list at the end of the four-event series earn their 2017-18 cards).

Crane had actually managed a 5-over 76 on Thursday despite eight shots in penalties. That still left him 132nd among 133 players, and he was very likely to miss the weekend anyway.

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