Monday, February 1

Ben Crane Reacts Positively to News That He Won

2010 Farmers Insurance Open Recap
Winner: Ben Crane
Score: 13 under, 265 (65, 71, 69, 70)
Quote: “I had no idea really what was going on.”
Fact: Sensitive to his slow-play image.
Thought: Thinking in golf is overrated.

THE BIG JOKE ABOUT Ben Crane is that he’s Mr. Slow Play. I can’t say I know much else about Crane, except that he’s a good putter. He’s trying to pick up the pace, and in the meantime winning doesn’t hurt.

“I need to play ready golf,” Crane said on Sunday after winning his third PGA Tour title. “I’ve been too slow in the past, and it’s bothered me. I’m working on being ready when it’s my turn to play.”

Crane was ready at Torrey South, grinding out a two-under 70 and playing steady down the stretch when no one mounted a serious charge. It might have helped that he was oblivious. Crane didn’t know he won until his playing partner, Ryuji Imada, broke the news after Crane retrieved his Titleist from the cup on the final green.

What? I won? Cool!

Australian Michael Sim, who finished in a tie for second with Marc Leishman and Brandt Snedeker, took some heat for laying up on the par-5 finishing hole when he needed a birdie to tie Crane. It seemed apparent to just about everyone except Sim that he could reach the putting surface with his second shot. But Sim didn’t like his yardage and was hesitant to pull the trigger.

“I had to hit it flush,” Sim said, “and I wasn’t swinging that well and just decided to lay up to a comfortable number.”

I accept it. He’s the one who has to play the shot. If he isn’t comfortable, it’s probably not going to turn out well. You have to be totally committed.

On to L.A. where Phil Mickelson defends at the Northern Trust Open.

Tour Notes

• The PGA Tour heads 100 miles north to Riviera in Pacific Palisades for the Northern Trust Open.
• New groove rules drive a wedge between Phil Mickelson and Scott McCarron.
• John Daly did not retire from golf, despite saying he was “done.”
• European Tour: Robert Karlsson won the Qatar Masters.

−The Armchair Golfer


Heather said...

Mr. Crane's reaction is appealing to me. If I could remain that cool, maybe I could actually win something. Personally, folks can call me whatever they want if I'm holding the crystal.

I agree with you, Neil, on Mr. Sim. He's the only one who knows how he's swinging and feeling that day.

As for Mr. Daly, we all have days when we are "done" with golf. We usually go out hitting the next weekend.

Mike said...

It's always easier to hit that shot with the long carry over water to the final green when YOU don't have to hit it.

The Armchair Golfer said...

I agree, Heather. It's refreshing that he could play the final stroke without knowing what it meant. There are others, too, who don't watch leaderboards. Whatever works.

Mike, I agree completely.