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October 20 2012

11:45 PM

Crane's 62 puts him 4 shots back

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Defending champ Ben Crane carded a 62 to move within four shots of the lead at The McGladrey Classic.
By Bill Cooney, PGATOUR.COM ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. -- Ben Crane was fortunate to make the cut at The McGladrey Classic. To say the least, he's making the most of the opportunity. Crane carded a competitive course record-tying 8-under 62 in the third round on Saturday to move within striking distance of defending his championship. “I felt like I was out of the tournament back there at 1 under par starting out the day,” said Crane, only four shots back. “But a 62, we’re back in it. Get out there tomorrow and see if I can get hot again.” Getting hot on Sea Island Golf Club isn’t new to Crane. He made up seven shots in his final 11 holes and then beat Webb Simpson in a playoff to win last season. On Saturday, Crane said he had a similar feeling on the Seaside Course, where he loves the Bermuda greens. Crane likes the fact that the greens are pure and run true, and enjoys the challenge of reading the grain of the grass. But it was the putting adjustment he made following his second-round 71 that made the difference. Crane adjusted his alignment and then proceeded to can putts of 22, 31 and 21 feet in his bogey-free round. “If you get some putts to go in early, it just eases your mind a little bit and frees you up,” Crane said. In Round 2, Crane was headed home after a bogey on the 10th, double-bogey 6 on No. 14 and a bogey 6 on the easy 15th. He then birdied the 16th and got up and down from the greenside bunker on the 18th and saved par from 4 feet to make the cut on the number at 1 under. Crane had three top 10s in his first four events of the season but then fell on hard times. He also injured his back during the summer and hasn’t been the same since the John Deere Classic. Crane had to WD at the Bridgestone Invitational, missed the cut at both The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship and had a T41 at the BMW. Finally, Crane said he’s feeling better -- “I just feel awesome,” he said -- after suffering a setback prior to the Frys.com Open last week. Still, he's realistic about his chances, four shots behind co-leaders Jim Furyk and Davis Love III. “I’m only halfway there,” Crane said. “But certainly today, put myself back in the tournament and I’m excited just to be playing golf, let alone be back in this thing.”
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