Plenty of playoff drama for O’Hair, Crane

Ben Crane

Ben Crane

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Zurich Classic of New Orleans

Avondale, LA - TPC Louisiana

8:09:31 AM ET. 04/23/2014




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NORTON, Mass. – It’s the playoffs, right, which means there should be some accompanying highs and lows. Saturday’s second round at the Deutsche Bank Championship – the final cut day of the 2012 playoff season – featured both.

On the positive side, we give you Sean O’Hair. He stood in the fairway at the par-5 18th with 207 yards to a flagstick situated on the front of the green. Having just three-putted the previous hole for bogey, and standing 4 over for the tournament, he knew he needed to make eagle to survive the cut. He basically was trying to pull off the football equivalent of a Hail Mary.

O’Hair grabbed a 4-iron, which he knew was a little too much club, even with a little wind in his face, and compensated by hitting a big fade to take as much off the shot as he could. The ball hit the green and spun to within 3 feet of the hole. Not that his work was done, mind you.

“It’s not that I have the yips – I just don’t feel good over the putter,” said O’Hair, the former Ryder Cupper who started this week 74th in FedEx Cup points, outside the top 70 who will play at next week’s BMW. He had seven three-putts last week at Barclays, and had two more Saturday. “I’ve got to change something. As far as the rest of the game, I feel great. I’m striking it beautifully. If I could just get it going with the putter, I could contend in a few events.”

He made the eagle putt, and he’ll be around for two more days, at least keeping alive his hopes of advancing to the next playoff stop at Crooked Stick. A short time earlier, Ben Crane’s playoffs likely came to an end at that same 18th hole when he closed with a bogey-6, his 10-footer for par to make the cut and get to the final 36 holes powerlipping out along the left edge.

For Crane, it was probably the last act in what has been a crazy summer (he stands 52nd in points, but is likely to get knocked out of the top 70). He chose not to travel to the Open Championship at Royal Lytham as an alternate, and would have gotten into the field. He was eligible for the next major, the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C., but withdrew after injuring his back on the weekend at Bridgestone. His very first round of golf since Bridgestone was last Thursday at Bethpage Black – admittedly a pretty stern exam for a man “swinging at about 75 percent.”

Saturday at TPC Boston, he had just birdied the 17th hole to move to 2 over, and was absolutely crushed when he missed the cut.

“I got off to a rough start yesterday (Friday) and never really got it going in a positive direction,” Crane said. “I knew exactly where I stood. It’s just a disappointing way to finish.

“I know that we grow in the trials of life. To some people, missing the cut by a shot doesn’t mean that much, but it means a lot to me. It’s very disappointing, but I know I’ll grow from it, too.”

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