Crane increases lead before play halted in Memphis
Friday, June 6, 2014
It hasn't been the best of seasons for Ben Crane.
He's 150th in the FedEx Cup standings, has just one top-25 finish in 16 starts and has missed four of his last five cuts. He also withdrew from his U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Colonial Country Club in Memphis after an opening-round 70 and earlier this season, started to undergo a swing change in hopes of curing his back pain.
"It's been a really, really hard year, racking my brain what's going on, what's going wrong and have I changed that much," Crane said. "You start wondering, 'am I going to get it back?' "
For the second day in a row, Crane continued his hot play on the greens of TPC Southwind in Memphis. Unfortunately for the tournament, inclement weather continued, as well.
Crane fired a second-round 5-under 65 to move to 12 under and take a six-shot lead before play was suspended for the day because of inclement weather, which included lightning, heavy rain and flooding.
Only 32 players finished the second round, which started 40 minutes late Friday morning in order for the first round to be completed. Lightning then forced a 59-minute lightning delay before the horn blew again only 13 minutes after players returned to the course because of thunderstorms.
Crane was one of the 32 players to finish 36 holes, showcasing some skilled work with the flagstick and needing just 24 putts to get through his round for the second straight day.
"I certainly didn't expect to be here," said Crane, a four-time PGA Tour winner who hasn't won since the 2011 McGladrey Classic. "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?' "
Crane began his second round by draining a 44-foot birdie putt at the par-4 first hole. He added five more birdies in his next 16 holes before bogeying the par-4 18th. The bogey was his first of the tournament and the 7-foot par putt that he missed at the 18th snapped a streak of 32 putts made from inside of 15 feet.
Carl Pettersson and Jason Bohn are tied for second at 6 under. Pettersson and Bohn, through 17 and 16 holes, respecitvely, will be among the players who will have to finish their second rounds beginning at 7 a.m. local time Saturday.
Phil Mickelson, who is currently tied for 11th at 3 under, didn't even start his second round Friday and is scheduled to tee off in Round 2 at 7:10 a.m. local time Saturday.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report