Crane wins St Jude Classic

Ben Crane hugs his caddie after winning the St Jude Classic in Memphis (AP)

Ben Crane hugs his caddie after winning the St Jude Classic in Memphis (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Ben Crane finished three over par in the final round at the St Jude Classic on Sunday but still managed to hold on to seal his first PGA Tour victory since 2011.

Crane failed to shoot a single birdie on the last day at TPC Southwind in Memphis but the American's 73 saw him card 10 under par for the tournament to finish one shot clear of second-placed Troy Merritt.

Crane had led the standings since day one having scored an impressive seven-under 63 in the opening round and followed that up with 65 and 69 in rounds two and three respectively.

The victory is the fifth of Crane's professional career.

Three players tied for third, one shot behind Merritt, as former US Open champion Webb Simpson hit 66 in the final round to join Matt Every and Sweden's Carl Pettersson on eight-under.

England's Ian Poulter enjoyed an excellent final day as he shot the lowest score of the round, 64, which included seven birdies.

Poulter's display saw him climb 29 spots to joint sixth alongside James Hahn, Andrew Svoboda, Brian Harman and Billy Horschel all on seven under.

Crane started the final day four shots clear but rain delays meant he still had 30 holes to overcome before the close of play.

Finishing off the 12 remaining holes of his third round, the 38-year-old carded a three-under 69 and saw his lead cut to three by Merritt who scored 67.

Crane's consistency seemed to desert him at the start of the final round as bogeys at the sixth and ninth gave his rivals plenty of room for encouragement.

Merritt looked likely to tie the lead when Crane hit a loose tee shot on the 13th but the American recovered brilliantly as he sank a 19-foot putt to hold par and remain one shot clear.

The tide swung firmly back in Crane's favour when Merritt hit a bogey on the 15th to open up a two-shot gap which the leader maintained until the final hole.

Landing in a bunker by the green on the 18th, Crane managed to dig himself out before two-putting for bogey and sealing a hard-earned victory.

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