Crane fends off Davis to win in Malaysia
Selangor, Malaysia (Sports Network) - Ben Crane birdied the final hole Sunday
to shoot a two-under 69 and win the Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia by one
Crane, who briefly fell out of the lead during the final round, finished at
18-under-par 266. The victory for the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in
Southeast Asia was unofficial.
"I've never won a tournament where it's been hanging on a putt like that on
the last hole," admitted Crane, who earned $1 million for the win. "Earlier
this year, I had a short putt to win, but I've never experienced anything like
today. It's a very special feeling."
Brian Davis fired a five-under 66 at The Mines Resort & Golf Club to take
second place at minus-17. Martin Laird (66) and Luke Donald (67) shared third
place at 16-under-par 268.
Crane made the turn with a three-stroke lead, but trouble loomed. After pars
on 10 and 11, he struggled to three straight bogeys from the 12th to fall one
stroke behind Laird at 15-under.
The 34-year-old Crane drained a 10-foot eagle putt on the short par-four 15th
to jump back into the lead. As he parred the next two holes, Davis caught
Crane atop the leaderboard.
Crane converted an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to secure the victory.
"I didn't know where I stood all day except for the start. My goal was to play
my best," Crane stated. "I told my caddie before the round that I might need
to know the situation. We're walking up 18 and he said what do you need to
know and I said nothing.
"That would have added pressure to the putt. I heard someone in the crowd say
playoff and I thought I might be in. I had a great opportunity with that putt
which I'll always remember."
On the front nine, Crane carded birdies on the third and ninth to go with
Davis wrapped birdies on the first and third around a bogey on the second. He
moved to 14-under with a birdie on the eighth. Around the turn, Davis dropped
another stroke on the 10th.
The Englishman bounced back with a birdie on the 13th, but tripped to another
bogey on the 15th. Davis nearly grabbed the victory with a hot closing
Davis birdied the 16th and followed with an eagle on 17. He birdied the last
to get in at minus-17.
Americans Rickie Fowler (67), Ryan Moore (69) and D.J. Trahan (68) ended in a
share of fifth place at 14-under-par 270. They were joined by Ernie Els (66),
Robert Allenby (64) and Mardan Mamat (69).
NOTES: Carl Pettersson entered the final round in second place, but closed
with a two-over 73 to slide into a tie for 15th at minus-12...Phil Mickelson
will defend his title next week at the WGC-HSBC Champions...Tiger Woods, who
will lose his No. 1 world ranking on Monday, will return to action for the
first time since the Ryder Cup.