Ben Crane caused fellow players, fans, and the media to shake their heads in disbelieve when he skipped the Web.com Tour Championship, only to show up at the Presidents Cup last weekend.
Crane had already made headlines earlier in the Web.com finals when he was penalized eight shots for having stickers from a training aid on his clubs that he forgot to take off. Then to pour salt in the wound, the next day he was greeted by a tour official informing him he was also disqualified.
Crane took the whole incident with a sense of humor saying, “If they were going to DQ me, I wish they had done it yesterday so I could of went home.”
Crane was 18th in the standings before the Web.com Tour Championship began and evidently felt he was safely within the top 25. The Tour informed him and other players near the magic 25 number that mathematically they could be passed and drop out of the top 25 who earn exempt PGA Tour cards for 2017-18.
Regardless, Crane pulled out of the Web.com Tour Championship and went to the Presidents Cup and worked for Citi financial.
— Citibank (@Citibank) September 30, 2017
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) October 1, 2017
I was shocked when I heard the news, and in good company as those on social media too were asking, why Ben?
— Carlmarks (@LOWSF) October 2, 2017
What’s the deal with Ben Crane? Does have some exemption no one knows about?
— Geoff Tulloch (@geofftulloch) October 2, 2017
— John Masterpalo (@J_Palo) October 2, 2017
He's 61st all time. Exemptions are for top 25 and top 50. Still no clue why. https://t.co/HvuXjlwAvU
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) October 2, 2017
So confused by this. Ben Crane played the first 3 Web finals events, then (while on the bubbble) bails on the finals to attend the Prez Cup? pic.twitter.com/A6JIKNXc7T
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) September 29, 2017
Why Crane felt safe at 18th is still a mystery. MyGolfDaily tried to reach his agent but as of this writing, no luck. Seven spots in the qualification process is nothing to get a good nights sleep on. Tour Championship winner Jonathan Byrd was 66th when he teed off on Thursday.
As Doug Ferguson with the Associated Press said, “Ben Crane rolled the dice by staying home from the Web.com Tour Championship and wound up losing. Until he realized he didn’t lose much at all.”
Before Crane knew it, eight players played well enough to pass him on Sunday. Eight others who already earned cards withdrew when the tournament had a Monday finish because of weather, so they could get to California to prepare for the Safeway Open.
According to Ferguson, with his conditional status, Crane finished 147th in FedExCup standings, and figured he would only miss two events that he normally plays.
Players who finished 126-150 in FedExCup standings get partial status.
Four players ahead of him in the FedExCup earned their cards in the Web.com finals. Five others were already exempt for winning in the last two years.
In the end Crane was almost in the same position he would of been had he went to Florida and earned his card.
Ben Crane is either really good at math, or a brave gambler.
I’d say both.
And I thought the World Golf Rankings were complicated……..