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The Tour Report

October 17 2012

7:40 PM

Crane 'back' in 'special place'

Special place

Defending champion Ben Crane made up a seven-shot deficit in his final 11 holes to win last season.

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."