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21 February 2024

Oblivious Crane wins San Diego open

By Reuters

Ben Crane was so locked in to his strategy for Sunday's final round of the San Diego Open he had no idea he had won the tournament on the 72nd hole.

The 33-year-old American parred the last at Torrey Pines to triumph by a stroke but he only became aware of his achievement when told by playing partner Ryuji Imada of Japan.

"I did not know that I had won when it was over," a smiling Crane told reporters after ending a victory drought of more than four years on the PGA Tour with a two-under-par 70.

"I didn't know who was playing well. Certainly the cameras followed us most of the day. I had no idea really what was going on, and I'm thankful that I didn't," added Crane, who posted a 13-under total of 275 in the fourth PGA Tour event of the year. Someone said: 'One-shot lead', when we were going to the last hole, so I thought he might be right. It was nice to get through the last putt and the first person who told me was Ryuji. He goes: 'Congratulations'. And I go: 'Did I win?' He kind of looks at me. I said: 'Did I win the tournament?' He's like: 'Yeah.' I go: 'All right, thanks.'"

Crane, who sealed his first victory on the US circuit since the 2005 Milwaukee Championship, had given his caddie strict instructions before the start of Sunday's final round.

"I told him: 'If we get into a situation where we might need to know what to do or to make a different decision, then you're in charge of that.'

"So he was watching the leaderboards and that 18th hole for the most part is not reachable for me so I really can't imagine a situation where I'm going to make a different decision.


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