Bubble Boy Ben Crane Hangs On
By Torleif Sorenson on 6/8/14


The 1930s hit song "Stormy Weather" could have served as the soundtrack for this week's FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind. It certainly would have been better than any of golfer Ben Crane's "songs" for which he has made silly videos, most notoriously "Bubble Boy" and "The Lost Love."

Even though he would start Sunday with a four-shot lead, Crane told reporters that he slept fewer than three hours Saturday night. But at least he put himself at the top of the leaderboard after rounds of 63, 65, and 69. Touring pros who shoot 73 on Sunday generally don't feel happy afterward, but for Crane, it was the formula for a wire-to-wire win; he finished one stroke ahead of Osage, Iowa native Troy Merritt.

At least Crane is not taking his fifth PGA Tour victory for granted:
"This win is different for me. I want to treat it differently and I really want to enjoy it. I don't want to act like there's five more behind it.

"This has been a really tough year. I had to finally become OK with golf not being in the picture. I just felt like things were going in that direction and so I just got to the place where I said, 'Lord, if it's not golf, I will love You.' But if it is that would be really fun."
Indeed, Crane was forced into swing changes due to severe back pain and even some on-course treatment during the PGA Tour's Palm Springs stop.


For his part, Troy Merritt won a few new fans in Memphis; he pledged $100 for every birdie he made this week to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. With 21 birdies this week, he tied Rickie Fowler for the most made this weekend, made a sizable donation to the hospital (a non-profit organization), and jumped 83 places in the FedExCup standings. Oh, by the way, this is Merritt's best-ever finish on the PGA Tour.

2012 U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson finished T-3 with Sweden's Carl Pettersson and American Matt Every, one shot behind Merritt.

Next up: The U.S. Open at Pinehurst.


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