Thursday, May 24, 2018

Patient Crane leads stormy Memphis tournament

MEMPHIS — Ben Crane has waited so long to contend for another PGA Tour title that being patient through weather delays is no problem at all.

Staying atop the leaderboard into the third round helps.

Crane went more than 28 hours between competitive shots due to weather delays, and he was at 13 under 128 with a four-stroke lead through six holes Saturday when another storm stopped play again at the St. Jude Classic.

"What an opportunity I have," Crane said. "Certainly at the beginning of the week I never thought I would have been here, so I'll just try to go home relax, get some food in me and sleep as fast as I can because we got to come back out at 7 a.m. and restart (Sunday)."

Troy Merritt was at 9 under with playing partner Peter Malnati at 8 under through seven holes. Phil Mickelson had pars on each of his nine holes and was at 5 under.

Play stopped at 6:49 p.m. with officials hoping to have the leaders tee off for the final round by 9:10 a.m. today, if they can avoid a fog delay like the one that delayed Saturday's start.

A storm Thursday forced 60 players to wrap up the first round Friday, and only 32 finished the second before two weather delays. The third round finally started at 3 p.m. with threesomes going off both tees.

Crane didn't tee off until 4:50 p.m. Saturday after finishing up his second round at 12:18 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, he birdied his first hole to go to 13 under as he rolled in a nearly 19-footer on the par-4 first. After hitting his approach into the rough behind the green on No. 2, Crane made a 12-footer to save par.

The Memphis event is Crane's 300th career tour start, even though his last win was in 2011 at the McGladrey Classic.

John Daly was among 71 making the cut at even par. David Duval withdrew in the second round. He was at 7 over.

LPGA: Shanshan Feng took a two-stroke lead in the Manulife Financial Classic, shooting a 4-under 67 for a 15-under 198 two-round total at Waterloo, Ontario. Michelle Wie (65) and Inbee Park (65) were tied for second.

CHAMPIONS: Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen combined for a 6-under 48 to lead the second round at Ridgedale, Mo. Haas and Jacobsen played on the par-3 Top of the Rock course. Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk were second after a 50 on the same course.

QUALIFIER ADMITS MISTAKE: Jason Millard disqualified himself from the U.S. Open after he admitted to grounding his club in a bunker during Monday's sectional qualifier in Fort Worth, Texas. Millard will be replaced by amateur Sam Love.