Crane hangs on for St. Jude Classic title


The Sports Network

Memphis, TN ( - Ben Crane carded a 3-over 73 on Sunday, but still was able to hang on for a one-shot win at the St. Jude Classic.

Crane collected his fifth career win on the PGA Tour at 10-under-par 270.

"It's been a battle this year," said Crane. "I changed a lot of stuff and I didn't think I'd get it back. This is a big surprise."

Troy Merritt shot a 1-over 71 to finish in second place at 9-under 271, while Webb Simpson (66), Matt Every (70) and Carl Pettersson (69) shared third at minus-8.

Ian Poulter fired a 6-under 64 during his final round at the TPC at Southwind to finish in a tie for sixth place with Billy Horschel (70), James Hahn (67), Andrew Svoboda (70) and Brian Harman (72).

Crane held a three-stroke lead at 13-under when the third round was completed early Sunday, and Merritt cut that advantage to two when he followed an opening bogey with back-to-back birdies from inside 10 feet at the second and third.

Crane then 2-putted for bogey at the sixth to fall to 12-under and drop his lead to just one.

Merritt bogeyed the seventh to hand Crane back his two-shot lead, but Crane followed with a bogey at the ninth to again cut his lead to just one.

Merritt, however, could not take advantage and after the duo traded pars over the next five holes, Merritt dropped another shot at the 15th to fall to minus-9.

He would close his round with three pars to end there, allowing Crane to hang on for the win despite closing his round with a 2-putt bogey at the 18th.

"What a battle," said Crane. "All those putts that were going in the last couple days, today it was a little tougher to come by. I hit a lot of good putts, but the course is playing a little tougher."

NOTES: Crane's last win came at the 2011 The McGladrey Classic ... Crane became the first player since Justin Leonard at the 2005 FedEx St. Jude Classic to win without recording a birdie in the final round ... Merritt's second-place finish was a career best on the PGA Tour. His previous best was a solo third finish at the 2010 Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

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