By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.
-- Ben Crane remembers his 2011 victory at The McGladrey Classic
like it was yesterday. How could he not? "Last year being the birth
of my daughter was just a day away -- turned out to be just hours
after I left here -- was something that I'll never forget," Crane
said. Crane's daughter, Saylor Mackenzie, turned 1 on Wednesday.
"So it's kind of cool," Crane said. With 11 holes left in the
tournament last season, Crane was seven shots out of the lead. But
he carded four straight birdies around the turn, then another four
straight for a 7-under 63. He would win in a playoff when Webb
Simpson missed a short putt on the second extra hole. "It's just
where everything starts to flow together, and you just kind of get
in that real comfortable place," Crane said. This season hasn't
been so kind to Crane. After three top 10s in his first four events
this spring, Crane had a tough finish to this year's Playoffs. He
missed the cut at The Barclays and The Deutsche Bank and had a T41
at the BMW to miss the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Currently,
he's battling a back injury. "I have a little inflammation around
my disk," Crane said. "I had an MRI. There's nothing really wrong.
I just had it aggravated a few weeks ago." "I'm just excited to be
playing again," added Crane, playing his first event since early
September at the BMW. "I haven't played a lot lately. So just
excited to be out there. And it felt good."