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Posts Tagged ‘Ben Crane’

Bubba Watson Wins at Augusta!

PGATour.com

2:23 PM.  It is the final day of The Masters – Sunday – and Phil is in the final group, one behind Peter Hanson.  Hanson is unproven in this position, while each of the three wins Phil has had at The Masters has come as a member of the final twosome on Sunday and in each case he shot no worse than 69.  It is a beautiful day at Augusta today and Phil is on the practice green awaiting his tee-time at 2:40 – seventeen minutes from now.  There are players within reach of the -9 total Hanson currently holds.  Mahan, Harrington, Westwood, Kuchar, Bubba Watson, and Oosthuizen are lurking and trying to make a move…it may take some help from Hansen and Phil.

2:55 PM.  Boy was I wrong that it would take some help from Hanson and Phil…Oosthuizen just double eagled the second hole to go to 10 under!!  It was one of the most perfect shots I have ever seen.  It has changed the complexion of the tournament in a single shot.

3:28 PM.  Phil holds on to 8 under par through the third hole, Hanson drops a second shot to go to 7 under, and Oosthuizen drops a shot on the fourth hole.

3:41 PM.  Watching Phil fall apart on the fourth hole.  He hit his tee shot left off the stands and into the bamboo and finally in with a triple bogey 6 taking him to 5 under par.

7:35 PM.  I couldn’t make any entries until now, I couldn’t pull away from viewing the tournament long enough.  Bubba is in tears after tapping in a 6 inch putt for par and the win on the second playoff hole (number 10) with Louis Oosthuizen.  Louis played near flawless golf, but could not reach the green on the final playoff hole from 235 yards after hitting trees on his drive.  Bubba hit an amazing hooking wedge from the trees right of the fairway from 155 yards to about 15 feet.  The new father of a two week old adopted son, he shed tears even as he was pulling the ball from the hole.  He was met on the green by his mother and his pals, Rickey Fowler and Ben Crane.

I was glued to the television during this final round.  My poor dogs only got a hurried walk because my wife had to get back to watch.  Matt Kuchar made a valiant run, but fell short at 8 under.  Phil made the strokes back he lost on his triple bogey on number four, but it was not enough as he finished at 8 under.  And, Peter Hanson hung in there shooting 1 over par today to also tie at 8 under par for the tournament.

Today Bubba out-“Phil-ed” Phil.  He is a swashbuckler on the course, with Seve-like imagination and the heart of a lion.  It is great to see him win the green jacket.

Faith and Golf

Crane Wins on Faith

Ben Crane won the McGladrey Classic this week in a playoff and who knew he was a devout Christian? As I watched the interview while he awaited the finish of his fellow competitors he offered thanks to God for his performance this week and especially that day citing a passage from the Bible. I don’t recall the Bible passage because the reference came out too quickly to catch. He shot a 7-under 63 Sunday coming from 5 shots back to tie the leaders. One of the competitors he was waiting for was Web Simpson, another devout Christian who had won twice already this year and is currently the leading PGA money winner. He also professed profound thanks to God for his success each time he has won. On this day he was tied both with Crane and Michael Thompson at 15 under par coming down the stretch. As it turns out, it was these two Christians, Crane and Simpson, who ended up competing in a playoff to determine the winner of the McGladrey Classic. Thompson bogeyed on the 72nd hole to take him out of the tie and playoff. On the second hole of the playoff, Simpson missed a short putt for par to lose to Crane who by the way was also to become a father again today, the day after the tournament.

A New Breed?

I have a view of past players and champions, those of the very early years, as being less than saintly hell raisers. Like the cowboys of the old west, the early professionals of this sport were individuals not tethered to a professional standard of conduct. There are legendary stories of partying and womanizing amongst this group of pioneering golfers who by any standard were nomads continuously operating on a thin shoestring of income. Some were married, but even some of those were extra-marital in their play time when out on the tour. Tiger demonstrated this kind of life-style until recently, partaking of the “benefits” of stardom through sexual conquests around the country. But, now since his outing, he professes to be a changed man. Is he the last of the “un-holy?” Has the talent pool and the need to be ready for the competition superseded the temptations to hell-raise in the off hours?

Tom Lehman, a major winner, has been on tour many, many years and he is a devout Christian. He’s now dominating on the Champions Tour (50 and older). There are others, but he particularly stands out because of his openness in referencing his beliefs and giving credit to God for his achievements. But I thought him to be in a great minority on the tour. Have I been wrong? Is there something to the clean living and discipline of devout Christian life that is particularly good for playing golf at that level? I think the answer may be yes. In a sport where belief in one’s abilities is paramount, would it not be helpful to be able to unload personal transgressions, failures, and fears onto a benevolent God? If you believe with all your heart in your God, doesn’t that make it easier to also believe in yourself? Perhaps that is part of Tiger’s problem as he tries to come back from his fall, perhaps he still believes in only himself. Who does he unload on?

Faith is a powerful thing. In chapter 10 of one of my favorite books, “The Book of Virtues,” the author describes faith:

“Faith is a source of discipline and power and meaning in the lives of the faithful of any major religious creed. It is a potent force in human experience (emphasis added). A shared faith binds people together in ways that cannot be duplicated by other means…Faith contributes to the form and the content of the ideals that guide the aspirations we harbor for our own lives, and it affects the way we regard and behave with respect to others.”

Perhaps faith in something larger than ourselves allows us to put into context the worldly things that occur day to day. Perhaps those who follow a life of faith in God have a firmer foundation from which to work, the rest of us living out the reality of chaos theory by comparison. Ben Crane has entertained us with his silly videos, showing a side of a professional golfer many of us never thought we’d see. Far from being the stoic, slow, self-absorbed golfer he might appear to be on the course, he is showing us another side now. Not so in your face and out there as the videos, but in action and accomplishment.

The “Golf Boys!”

Golf Boys Debut

There are some stodgy old golf purists out there that are spewing coffee through their nostrils this morning after watching the latest video Ben Crane (and sponsor?) has put out. But it isn’t only Ben Crane  now – he has enlisted (or they have jumped on the wagon) some of professional golf’s best young players to take part in this hilariously funny, self-deprecating, and dare I say it – exciting – video.

Golf Boys Intro at U.S. Open

I get the electronic version of Golf World Magazine via email and came across this in their 6/16/2011 “Things We’re Talking About” article.  There is a great photo of the Golf Channel guys (Rich Lerner, Brandel Chamblee, and Frank Nobilo) and our 4 amigos Ben Crane , Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler , and Bubba Watson at the desk with Congressional in the background laughing it up over the video.  I clicked the link to the video of the “Golf Boys” that Golf World provided.  My first impression was, Man, I want to watch these guys play golf!  My wife watched the video with me, she is not a golfer, and she had the same reaction.  To quote the Guiness guys – Brilliant!”

Golf World – “…this is probably not a video Hogan would have made.”

Watch the Golf Boys video (below)!  Ben Crane is consistent with his wardrobe of a red wetsuit and black open face scooter helmet from previous hilarious videos.  But then there is Hunter Mahan in tights, a furry jacket, and a scraggly beard looking like a “mod squad Viking”…hey Hunter, what’s in your wallet?” And Bubba Watson, of course, Bubba is from Baghdad, Florida and in Baghdad everyone knows that denim over-alls is the way to go to get that “feel all free underneath feeling.”  If you need advice on getting that feeling, just call BR549 – Junior may answer, just ask for Bubba.  And finally, there’s Rickie.  Isn’t it most appropriate that Rickie looks like he just stepped out of a session with the Backstreet Boys?  If only his lip synching was as good as theirs – : )

The Golf Boys Video

Golf Boys for Fun and Charity

This is masterful marketing, fun, and good for charity.  Yes, if anyone buys the song “Oh Oh Oh” on iTunes, all proceeds go to charity.  Farmer’s Insurance will certainly benefit from some You Tube play – this thing has probably already gone viral.

It’s something to see these guys loose and off the course and the humor makes you want to root for them.  Now, I am not going to go out and buy an orange get up to play golf in, but I am now more of a fan of these guys than I was before.  Thanks again Ben for bringing out the best…well, the fun and personality.  Everyone knows the players work hard, but it’s good for the public to see their “other side.”

Ok, enough of the open shirt stuff golf boys, follow Ben’s lead and get a wet suit – but not too tight.

(Look for “The Making of Oh Oh Oh” with the Golf Boys on Ben‘s website:  http://www.bencranegolf.com/)

Personality on the Tour! Thank You!

Ben Crane is a personality!  You have to go to his website and watch all of his videos – http://www.bencranegolf.com/ .

If after watching this you don’t like him – then there is something wrong with you!  He’s been getting some “talk time” on the PGA channel (Sirius XM Radio) and a few quips from the announcers during golf telecasts, but this guy should get more attention than that.  This guy is 35th in the Official World Golf Rankings for goodness sake.  We seem to be enamored with the pink and orange pants wearing “personalities” and the perfect swing crowd, but what about those golfers out there that are a little different? 

Speaking of  a little different, what about Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey – http://twogloves.com/.  Here’s a guy who finished 1 stroke behind Brandt Snedeker (I like saying that last name) and Luke Donald at Hilton Head last weekend and I had the feeling the announcing crew would rather he fell on his face than win.  He has an unusual swing (looks like he could take a divot with his right elbow), wears two gloves (hence the moniker), and was a contestant and winner on The Golf Channel’s “Big Break.”  Boy did he take advantage of his “big break.”  What’s not to love about this guy?  Maybe if he sported a mullet a la John Daly in the day he would get more love coming his way.

Here’s a call to “fan up” these unconventional players.  While Tiger is in pursuit of the perfect swing, spitting hockers on the fairway, and dropping clubs, these guys are having fun and doing the best with what they have…and doing well.