Ben Crane wins FedEx St. Jude Classic

Ben Crane wins FedEx St. Jude Classic
Ben Crane wins FedEx St. Jude Classic
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ben Crane came through a marathon final day to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis by a single stroke from fellow American Troy Merritt.

Ben Crane came through a marathon final day to win the FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind in Memphis by a single stroke from fellow American Troy Merritt.

Thunderstorms and high winds had disrupted play on each of the first three days so Crane returned to TPC Southwind early on Sunday morning still with 12 holes of his third round to complete.

He posted a 69 to take a three shot advantage into round four, after opening with exceptional rounds of 63 and 65. With the threat of more storms, there was very little time for a break after the third round and Crane headed out again almost immediately.

He opened his final round solidly, although two bogeys to the end of the front nine put his lead under threat. But the challenge of those chasing, including Phil Mickelson, faded and Crane was left with a two-stroke lead coming into the final hole.

He avoided the water from the tee, but found the greenside bunker with his approach. Even though he was unable to get up-and-down for par, he had done enough to secure his first PGA Tour title since 2011.

“It’s been a battle this year,” he said. “I’ve changed a lot of stuff and I didn’t know if I would get it back, this is a big surprise.”

Troy Merritt finished the week alone in second. He was just a stroke back with six to play but he bogeyed the 15th and was unable to make any headway on the run for home.

Phil Mickelson threatened the lead after consecutive birdies at the 11th and 12th, but he bogeyed the 13th, then found the water on the 14th en-route to another bogey.

“My iron play was poor and my putting was pathetic. I’ll have to make some changes for next week,” said Mickelson in a rather negative assessment of his chances at next week’s U.S. Open.

England’s Ian Poulter fired a fine closing round of 64 to move into a tie for sixth place.

FedEx St. Jude Classic TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee Jun 5-8, purse $5,800,000, par 70

1    Ben Crane (USA)        63    65    69    73    270    $1,044,000 2    Troy Merritt (USA)    67    66    67    71    271    $626,400 T3    Matt Every (USA)        69    68    65    70    272    $301,600 T3    Carl Pettersson (Swe)    67    67    69    69    272    $301,600 T3    Webb Simpson (USA)    71    66    69    66    272    $301,600 T6    James Hahn (USA)    69    70    67    67    273    $181,540 T6    Brian Harman (USA)    69    65    67    72    273    $181,540 T6    Billy Horschel (USA)    67    68    68    70    273    $181,540 T6    Ian Poulter (Eng)        69    68    72    64    273    $181,540 T6    Andrew Svoboda (USA)    69    66    68    70    273    $181,540

Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?