Category: Ben Crane
Luke Donald isn’t exactly the longest player off the tee—he’s not even the 177th longest player off the tee—but he is the No. 1 player in the world, as he kindly reminds us with the help of Mizuno, YouTube and gospel singers.
Ben Crane squeaks into Masters field
Speaking of YouTube, Ben Crane and his helmet are headed to Augusta. As Ryan Ballengee reports, Crane began the week as No. 48 in the Official World Golf Ranking, leaving little wiggle room to remain inside the top 50. After missing the cut, things looked grim for Crane; however, he only dipped down one place to 49th, keeping his hopes for a green jacket alive. Sportsbook.com doesn’t exactly like the American’s odds, though (125 to 1 odds). Always the good sport (and social-media savant), Crane took to Twitter to let us know that, at the very least, there is a chance, quoting "Dumb and Dumber" along the way.
Wow what a day sitting at 48th world ranking and top 50 get into Masters after this wk. I dropped to 49 and got in & now tied for the lead!!— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) March 26, 2012
the 2012 Masters RT @tpaulding: tied for the lead... In what?— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) March 26, 2012
Wht r chances of green jacket like u & a playr like me getn together?1in10? more like 1in a million.So u r sayin there's a chance I hear ya!— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) March 26, 2012
Arnold Palmer might play in charity event this December
As reported earlier, the PNC Father/Son Challenge is set to return after a brief hiatus. Arnold Palmer will serve as the event’s ambassador, and the event will benefit the Anrold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winner Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, but he may also be competing, according to Jason Sobel:
"Well, my plans are right now, I'm thinking about it," he [Palmer] said with a wink. "I have two grandsons that are eligible."
Following that coy remark, though, Palmer was hospitalized with high blood pressure. Reports indicate that he will be fine, but it is unclear if it will affect his playing status. If the tweets from one of Arnie’s grandsons, up-and-comer Sam Saunders, are any indication, there is a good chance we see the King teeing it up come December.
Tweet of the Day
A win for Tiger will bring his on-course career earnings to $109,596,678. Thru today, Gilbert Arenas has made $112,178,986.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) March 25, 2012
Truth & Rumors: Tiger Woods says he'll be ready for Masters in interview with 'Good Morning America'
Tiger Woods told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Thursday that he plans to play the Masters in three weeks despite a strained Achilles that he sustained in his final round at the WGC-Cadillac Championship last Sunday.
"I'll be there. Don't worry about it," Woods said when asked whether the injury, which forced him to withdraw after teeing off on the 12th hole on Sunday at Doral, might sideline him for the year's first major.
Woods also did not rule out playing in next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he is a six-time winner of the event he commonly uses as a final tune-up before Augusta. He finished tied for 24th last year at Bay Hill.
"The stiffness is gone," Woods said. "Hopefully, I'll be ready next week."
PGA Tour to discuss new schedule next week
The PGA Tour's policy board will meet next week at Bay Hill to discuss significant changes to the PGA Tour schedule, which is also expected to include an overhaul of Q-School. Golf Channel's Rex Hoggard has more.
The new plan - which was granted initial approval at the board’s meeting last October but needs a second vote to become policy - would feature the top 75 players off the regular-season Nationwide Tour money list and Nos. 126-200 in PGA Tour earning in a three-event series. The top 50 players after the series finale would earn Tour cards.
The reasons behind the realignment are twofold. The Tour is hoping the changes will make the secondary circuit more appealing to a potential umbrella sponsor to replace Nationwide, which is pulling its sponsorship after this season, and needs to condense the qualifying process to introduce a split-calendar schedule, which the board will also address at next week’s meeting.
That "split schedule" could start soon and would make the Fall Series the start of the Tour's calendar year.
The new split-calendar schedule, which could begin as early at 2013, would likely start with the Frys.com Open and include the existing Fall Series events, WGC-HSBC Champions and Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia.
Bringing these events into the FedEx Cup portion of the schedule is certain to appease sponsors that were not pleased with their second-tier status and allow the Tour to make the HSBC an official money event. The move isn’t likely to draw more top players to the fall events, but it’s not going to attract any less.
Tweet of the Day
Keegan Bradley took to Twitter to perform some damage control after this weekend's Northern Trust Open. No, Bradley did not apologize for his performance after losing to Bill Haas in a thrilling three-way playoff. Instead, Bradley said he was sorry for spitting on the course.
Bradley, the 26-year-old who won the PGA Championship as a rookie last year, is often seen on television spitting on the course, which caught the eye of British golf instructor and TV commentator Denis Pugh as he watched the Northern Trust Open. Pugh also noticed Bradley's geological pace of play.
Clearly, Pugh's message was heard. Afterward, Pugh accepted Bradley's apology although he noted that it covered only spitting, not pace of play.
Of course, Bradley is not the only member of the PGA Tour who spits on the course. Tiger Woods is often criticized for spitting on the golf course. Back in 2008, our former colleague Farrell Evans weighed in on this issue, concluding that the problem wasn't that Woods spits on the course, but it was the way he spits.
A good Southern man should never chew gum in public, but spitting is permissible just as long as it's not on the town square sidewalk or near a lady.
Tiger is not a good practitioner of the art of spitting. The saliva must come out of the mouth in a tight rope. Tiger’s tends to come out like a water hose meant to wet the widest space possible. Also, he’s just not a spitting type of guy. What do I mean? He’s a golfer from Southern California, not Salinas or Sacramento or Selma or San Antonio.
Boo Weekley is good at it because he knows the context of spitting. He knows the history and has seen good men, hardworking men, perform one of the working man’s greatest crafts.
It's a skill that was perfected by real country folks, working-class poor people who lived through the Depression. They spit, but they knew good manners. A kind word and a handshake and opening doors for women and old folks. Yes sir and no sir. Ask a man about his day, and he told you about how grateful he was that he could support his family and that there was good rain last night.
For these people, spitting was a ritual, a way to pause between parts of a story. I call it fluid punctuation.
Ben Crane mannequin stops burglary in Denmark
Gotham City might still need a hero, but Copenhagen already has Ben Crane, thank you very much.
A Crane mannequin foiled a burglary attempt at a sporting goods store in Denmark's capital city. USA Today has the details:
A mannequin of Crane holding a golf club thwarted a late-night robbery Feb. 17 in the Copenhagen, Denmark, headquarters of Show Me Golfers, a golf app that Crane endorses. According to ShowMeGolfers, the burlgar(s) broke a window to gain entry but did not take anything, fleeing at the shadowy image of Crane. The alarm, however, went off, and upon arriving at the scene, police officers pulled their guns on the Crane lookalike and asked him to drop his gun before realizing it was a mannequin.
No one — not even the mannequin — was hurt in the incident.
"I am pumped. This is awesome," Crane enthusiastically said Monday at the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship. "It's weird, I'll tell you that. But it's great news. And I technically saved a major robbery. When the cops got there, they soon realized I had it all under control."
Michelle Wie goes gluten-free to improve golf game
If it worked for No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, it's good enough for Michelle Wie.
In Singapore for the HSBC Women's Champion tournament, Wie said she's switched to a gluten-free diet like the one that helped Djokovic, according to AFP.
"I heard that story that he turned gluten free and became number one in the world," Wie on Tuesday told a press conference in Singapore ahead of the $1.4-million HSBC Women's Champions tournament starting Thursday where she will be competing.
"I think it's really motivating me," she said in response to a question from AFP. Djokovic, who has battled allergies in his career, has credited a gluten-free diet as one of the key reasons behind his surge to the top of men's tennis.
Like the Serbian, Wie is also allergy-prone and has tweeted earlier this month that her hands are less swollen after omitting gluten from her diet.
"I am allergic to everything in this world, I don't really digest food very well," the 22-year-old Hawaiian of Korean descent said. "So I just thought maybe if I cut out gluten, I can feel better because I heard that it causes inflammation, everything... but it's been week three and I feel a big difference."
Tweet of the Day
Each week, 15 staffers from SI Golf+, Golf Magazine and GOLF.com vote for their top 10, awarding 10 points to their first choice and proceeding in descending order to the 10th player, who gets one point. The points are then added and the ranking calculated. This ranking aims to be an of-the-moment measure of who’s playing the best right now. Tell us your top 10 in the comments field below.
RANK (TOTAL VOTES, FIRST PLACE VOTES, LAST WEEK'S RANK)
1. Rory McIlroy (117, 4, 2) - Last three finishes: 2, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; T11, Dubai World Championship; 1, Hong Kong Open
- Official World Golf Ranking: 2
2. Luke Donald (111, 5, 1) - Last three finishes: T48, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; T12, JBWere Masters; 3, Dubai World Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 1
T3. Webb Simpson (89, 0, 4) - Last three finishes: T8, Waste Management Phoenix Open; T38, Sony Open; T3, Hyundai Tournament of Champions
- Official World Golf Ranking: 6
T3. Kyle Stanley (89, 5, NR) - Last three finishes: 1, Waste Management Phoenix Open; 2, Farmers Insurance Open; MC, Humana Challenge
- Official World Golf Ranking: 52
5. Lee Westwood (63, 0, 3) - Last three finishes: T12, Qatar Masters; T17, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; 1, Thailand Golf Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 3
6. Steve Stricker (58, 0, 5) - Last three finishes: T38, Sony Open; 1, Hyundai Tournament of Champions; 16, Chevron World Challenge
- Official World Golf Ranking: 5
7. Branden Grace (53, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: T47, Qatar Masters; MC, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; 1, Volvo Golf Champions
- Official World Golf Ranking: 91
8. Johnson Wagner (48, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: T55, Waste Management Phoenix Open; T2, Humana Challenge; 1, Sony Open
- Official World Golf Ranking: 73
9. Sergio Garcia (28, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: T5, Qatar Masters; T12, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship; T24, Thailand Golf Championship
- Official World Golf Ranking: 16
10. Brandt Snedeker (26, 0, NR) - Last three finishes: T50, Waste Management Phoenix Open; 1, Farmers Insurance Open; T8, Humana Challenge
- Official World Golf Rank: 15
Others receiving votes:
Tiger Woods (23)
Paul Lawrie (1, 21)
Charl Schwartzel (19)
Martin Kaymer (15)
Keegan Bradley (14)
Jason Day (12)
Mark Wilson (12)
Robert Rock (11)
Bill Haas (7)
Harrison Frazar (5)
Ben Crane (3)
Adam Scott (2)
Spencer Levin (1)
John Rollins (1)
Bubba Watson (1)
During his live Super Bowl special, David Feherty sat down with Tim Tebow and pressed the young QB if leading the nation could be in his future after he finishes leading mediocre football teams to playoff berths. Feherty pleaded his case to Tebow, saying, “Would you ever think of running for office? Please? Because, here’s the thing, we’ve got Romney and Gingrich here at the minute and I don’t know what anybody else thinks, but they’ve got the sort of faces you never get tired of punching.”
Tebow didn’t completely knock the notion, though, responding, “For me, it could be something in my future. It’s something I’ll have to think about and pray about.”
Check out an excerpt of Feherty’s interview with Tebow in the video below, as well as extended clips from his Super Bowl special.
Golf Boys reunion
It may not be as big news as the Beach Boys's 50th anniversary reunion and tour, but for a brief moment, Ben Crane and Bubba Watson, one-half of golf’s favorite boy band, kept the party going on TPC Scottsdale’s 16th hole. Missing in action from the impromptu concert was Rickie Fowler, who was in a different playing group at the Phoenix Open, and Hunter Mahan, who was busy getting cut in Qatar.
I may be alone in this, but I never get sick of Ben Crane’s racing helmet and goggles. For more images of the Waste Management Open’s party hole, check out our gallery here.
Nager appointed as USGA’s 62nd president
During the USGA’s annual meeting in Houston, Glen Nager was announced as the 62nd president of North American golf’s governing body, reports Ryan Ballengee. Nager has been elected to serve a one-year term and hopes to keep the organization focused on challenges faced by predecessor Jim Hyler, including improving participation and environmental stewardship in the game.
“At a time when the game faces increasingly complex challenges, we must recommit ourselves to the USGA’s mission,” Nager said at the annual meeting. “To sustain the game, we must do more. We have to promote a more enjoyable, more affordable and more welcoming experience for golfers – without fundamentally changing the game itself.”
Nager, 53, resides in Washington, D.C. where he is a partner in the Jones Day law firm. He has an extensive background in constitutional law and has argued 13 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Nager is also a single-handicap golfer and was named the volunteer general counsel of the USGA in 2006. He most recently served as chairman of the USGA’s Rules of Golf, Commercial and Compensation committee.
Tweet of the Day
I need to get my sponsors' logos on my helmet. It's obviously good luck...and fashionable too. Golf's biggest headwear trend since the visor— Ben Crane (@bencranegolf) February 6, 2012
It was announced this morning at the PGA Merchandise Show that Meg Mallon will captain the U.S. Solheim Cup team in 2013 as they look to extract revenge on the European side when they meet at Colorado Golf Club.
Mallon is an 18-time LPGA winner, including four major championships, and played on eight U.S. Solheim Cup teams, sporting a 13-9-7 career record. She served as an assistant captain to the victorious 2009 team and also captained a winning American side at the 2011 PING Junior Solheim Cup.
"It's an absolute honor to be selected as the 2013 U.S. Solheim Cup Team Captain," said Mallon. "I've participated in The Solheim Cup on nine occasions and each has been a proud moment for me, but to represent the United States as team captain definitely caps off my career. I look forward to working hard on getting the Cup back in U.S. hands."
Back to school
Rory McIlroy, the scholar. That’s right, the U.S. Open champ is set to receive an honorary degree from the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland. According to the Irish Times, McIlroy will be awarded a Doctor of Science degree for his contribution to golf.
The university said: “Rory McIlroy has quickly established himself as a major force in international golf as a Major winner and Ryder Cup hero.”
Compatriots Graeme McDowell and Darren Clarke have also been honored by the university in the past.
Other notables to receive honorary degrees from the University of Ulster this year include Manchester United skipper Sir Alex Ferguson, Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody and actor Sir Ian McKellen, among others.
Looking to build on a successful first season, Golf Magazine contributing writer David Feherty’s hit talk show, Feherty, will expand to a one hour time slot, beginning February 27. Due to viewer demand, Golf Channel has also ordered more episodes for season two and has pushed the original series back to the 10 p.m. time slot. In a press release, Golf Channel stated:
“We were blown away by the positive reaction our viewers had to this show and their appreciation for the truly heartfelt moments David was able to pull from each interview,” said Golf Channel President Mike McCarley. “People know David as funny and a bit irreverent, but they never knew how much emotion would come from this series. The one comment we heard repeatedly from viewers was ‘give us more’ -- so that’s exactly what we plan to do in season two.”
If you can’t hold out an entire month for your weekly dose of Feherty, don’t fret. Before season two airs, viewers will be treated to a special from the Super Bowl with Feherty performing before a live theatre audience, armed with a slew of guests from the world of sports and entertainment.
Additionally, Golf Channel will be airing bonus footage shot for two of the most popular Feherty episodes, including never-before-seen interviews with Johnny Miller and Tom Watson. The episodes will be re-aired in a one-hour format on February 13 and 20, respectively.
Ben Crane isn’t the only one pumping out viral videos; rally driver and drifting champion Rhys Millen has teamed up with Hyundai to bring the largely underground world of Formula D to the golf course. Millen, who will race the 500bhp Hyundai Veloster in the US Rallycross championship, shows just how fast he really is, terrorizing the Purangi Golf & Country Club in New Zealand with his turbocharged golf cart.
PGA Tour, take notice. We just solved your pace of play problem.
Tweet of the Day
Steve Sands @ Golfchannel reports from Abu Dhabi that Tiger Woods took off his undershirt on hole 4 yesterday.... #tigersyearhasstarted— Steve Elkington (@elkpga) January 26, 2012
Truth & Rumors: Injuries knock Tebow out of Pebble Beach, Ben Crane's new video, Bubba Watson's pink driver
Those looking forward to some Tebowing on the greens at Pebble Beach are going to be disappointed. According to Golf Channel's Ryan Ballengee, Tebow will not be participating in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am due to injuries sustained in the Broncos' playoff game against New England.
Tebow suffered injuries to the chest and ribs during the game against the Patriots, reportedly including torn rib cartilage and bruised lungs. The former Florida Gator would not have played in the AFC Championship game had the Broncos won.
"Due to the injuries, it looks like he's a no-go," Tournament Director Steve Worthy said.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is still committed to the event, as is Bill Belichick.
Crane's other favorite sport
Ben Crane and his helmet have finally returned to let us know he has a lot left in the tank ...on the uneven bars.
It’s not all pommel horses and floor routines, though. For every 100,000 views, Farmers Insurance will donate $1,000 to charity, and up to $5,000, on behalf of Crane.
Pretty in Pink
While Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and other TaylorMade stars are sporting white drivers, and Rickie Fowler seems to have bright orange everything, Bubba Watson is trumping them all with his new pink Ping G20 driver. Every drive Bubba bombs with his pink hardware will help his new charity, “Bubba and Friends Drive to a Million.” Watson’s personal website has the details:
Last year, he dubbed himself Bubba Long – averaging 315 yards per drive on the PGA Tour. This year, he's Bubba Long in Pink.
PING will be with Bubba every step of the way – especially on the tee box – as he drives toward his goal of $1 million while relying on his custom-painted, matte-pink finish PING G20 driver and pink True Temper Grafalloy Bi-Matrix shaft.
PING will donate $300 for the first 300 drives measuring 300 or more yards in 2012 to help Bubba reach the $1 million mark and has already contributed $10,000 to the effort.
No word yet on whether the General Lee will also be getting a new paint job.
Tweet of the Day
@bubbawatson WHAT IS THAT DRIVER?!? You really are a big fan of mine! Thank you hahah— Paula Creamer (@ThePCreamer) January 24, 2012
If Tiger's domination of Aaron Baddeley in the Presidents Cup Sunday singles wasn't enough to convince you that he's back on track, maybe the fact that he's inked two endorsement deals in the last six weeks will do the trick. His agreement with Rolex, which Tiger's agent at Excel Sports Management, Mark Steinberg, suggested was the first of several endorsements to come, is significant in that it clearly illustrates that major global brands are more than ready to do business with the former No. 1 player in the world. Woods's newest deal with Fuse Science, a Florida-based nutrition company, further extends Tiger's reach to a new product category and will surely inspire more confidence in Tiger's endorse-ability.
"This company is laying the foundation for some very significant things," Woods said in a phone interview Monday with USA TODAY. "The more homework I did the more I was amazed with the technology that is not only applicable for me in what I do, it's applicable for everyone. And how easy it is to use -- that's where it really is ground-breaking. The technology is phenomenal. Some people don't like to take pills. Now you can just put a drop under your tongue. It's that easy. And it really does get into your system in 90 seconds. It's something you need so you don't get dehydrated on the golf course, especially when you're out in the sun all day long."
Tiger will sport the Fuse Science logo on his golf bag beginning at the Chevron World Challenge next month. Steinberg told Golf.com that there have been several opportunities to place corporate sponsorship on Tiger's bag recently but none "felt right." Tiger's confidence in the Fuse technology is such that Steinberg says he would have been interested in signing a deal with the company at any time in his career, even during his days with AT&T, Gillette and Gatorade.
"We did a lot of due diligence on the Fuse technology, and it could legitimately change the way people injest medicine and vitamins in the future," Steinberg said. "It could be revolutionary. They have an unbelievable group of executives and we're extremely impressed with the company."
As Tiger's game continues to round into form heading into his own tournament, don't be surprised if more good results on and off the course continue to come El Tigre's way. Tiger returning to the top of the world rankings wouldn't just be good for him it would be good for TV ratings, corporate sponsorships and the game of golf in general.
Norman hopes Presidents Cup performance puts Tiger back on top
The bit of tit for tat between Greg Norman and Tiger Woods over the Presidents Cup has been well-documented. Norman criticizes Fred Couples for picking Tiger instead of Keegan Bradley. Then Tiger closes out the Presidents Cup and says something to the effect of, "Greg probably wishes he kept his mouth shut." Regardless, Norman knows as well as anyone how important Tiger is to the game of golf and said so in a recent interview.
"Tiger's Tiger -- he stepped up the plate," Norman said. "I said to him, 'You need golf as much as golf needs you.' We all want to see him up there. Any player hates to see a great player struggle.
"We all know what it's like to go through the ins and outs of the game," he explained. "You want to see the player who dominated the game come back so that when you beat him you feel like you beat him at the top of his game."
Fred Couples, who was initially stung a bit by Norman's criticism, has clearly gotten over it in Freddy-like fashion.
"I don't know if I've ever felt vindicated in golf in 30 years, but I feel like I know what I'm doing," he said. "There's a reason I picked Tiger early. He worked hard and when a guy says 'Don't worry about me' you are going to smile. I got frustrated a bit because I felt I was picking the greatest player I've ever seen play."
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