AVONDALE, La. -- Fast pay makes fast friends when it comes to betting.
Don’t pay up, however, and things can turn ugly -- especially in the age of social media.
On Tuesday, former PGA Tour player Tom Gillis called out Ben Crane with a barrage of tweets accusing him of not paying a $6,000 bet to a “friend” from a putting contest between Crane and the friend 2 1/2 months ago during the Phoenix Open. Charley Hoffman likewise made a not-so-veiled reference towards Crane on Instagram.
Contacted by Golf Digest, Gillis said he intervened at the request of his friend. Thursday, it was confirmed that friend was fellow player Daniel Berger.
“It’s handled,” Berger said after his opening round at the Zurich Classic. “I don’t really think there’s much to comment on. We took care of it.
“I wish it didn’t come to that, but it’s all taken care of. It’s crazy how powerful social media can be.”
When Crane was asked about the situation after the round he also confirmed the matter was closed, though neither player confirmed whether any money actually exchanged hands.
“It’s all good,” said Crane. “One thing was said and another thing was said. It was miscommunicated. But we’re all good. We had a great conversation about it.”
Exactly what was the Gillis-Berger connection that led to the former standing up for the latter? Gillis, 48, has known Berger, 24, since Berger was a kid working at the Dye Preserve in Jupiter. They also have shared the same coach, Jeff Leishman, for years.
Asked if he had spoken to Gillis about it, Crane said he hadn’t.
“He wasn’t there,” he said. “He has no idea what happened. There’s no reason for me to defend myself. Daniel and I had our conversation and that was it so we’re all good.”
Both were happy to move on from it.
“We warmed up next to each other on the range this morning and had a good time,” Crane cracked. “I asked him what he wanted to play for.”