Mon, Nov 01, 2010 - Page 19 News List

Ben Crane calmly rolls in million-dollar eight-footer

Reuters, KUALA LUMPUR

Ben Crane of the US celebrates after winning the Asia Pacific Classic in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

PHOTO: REUTERS

Ben Crane of the US won his fourth USPGA Tour title yesterday when he calmly rolled in an eight-foot birdie putt at the final hole to win the US$6 million co-sanctioned Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia.

Overnight leader Crane struck a final round two-under 69 for an 18-under 266 total as he held off a brave charge from England’s Brian Davis to win by one shot at the Mines Resort and Golf Club and claim the first USPGA Tour event held in Southeast Asia.

“This has been a really special week, from the time we arrived until now. I had a great opportunity with that putt [on 18], which I’ll always remember,” said Crane, who pocketed the US$1 million check in Kuala Lumpur. “I was so nervous and I was just praying. I just wanted to hit a good putt and to see it go into the hole, it felt so good.”

Crane’s three consecutive bogeys from the 12th hole looked to have put paid to his first Asian Tour title bid, but he regained his composure to fire an eagle two at the par-four 15th.

“I hit an unbelievable shot on 15 with my driver and that kind of turned things around,” Crane said. “It was an exciting turnaround. That was an unbelievable finish.”

The 292-yard hole proved to be decisive.

As Crane celebrated his success at the 15th, Davis was left frustrated at missing a straightforward par-putt at the hole that proved crucial.

“I missed a short putt on the par-four 15th, which was a big error there,” Davis said.

The Englishman recovered to finish birdie-eagle-birdie to close with a final round of 66 to tie Crane as leader in the clubhouse, before the American sank the winning putt on the last.

“I played good all week and kept myself in the hunt,” said Davis, who is still searching for his first win on the USPGA Tour.

Scot Martin Laird (66) and England’s Luke Donald (67) shared third place, while Ernie Els of South Africa finished tied fifth.

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