Crane on other side of rout, cites bad back

February 25, 2011

MARANA, Ariz. -- Ben Crane went from chicken one day to feathers the next, with a twist. The twist was in his lower back. Crane woke up with pain in the lower left quadrant of his back and was virtually unable to swing a club. He has no idea what caused the problem.

"I woke up with it," he said after losing 7 and 6 to Miguel Angel Jimenez in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. The drubbing came just 24 hours after Crane dismantled Rory McIlroy by an even more lopsided 8 and 7.

"I didn't know what to do. I tried to play. Obviously it didn't work. It was so painful every shot," said Crane, who has experienced back problems before. "Last time it kept me out of a tournament has been a year and half. Certainly, I felt great for a while. I didn't see it coming. It's a bummer because I was playing phenomenal."

While Crane had a trainer walking inside the ropes with him, working on his back, Jimenez opened the match with birdies on three of the first four holes. It was a challenge Crane was incapable of answering. "I skipped my whole warm up, went inside got the medical guys to work on it. They say, OK, go try that and I went to the range. It didn't help. It would have been fun if it would have felt good. First hole, I hit it 60 yards right. My body stopped. I was trying to keep it moving and it just wouldn't do it. I made one swing that was somewhat close to normal. One swing out of 12 holes or whatever I played. It was frustrating."

-- Jim Moriarty