MARANA, Ariz. --Noted American humorist, Ben Crane, producer and director of his own comic videos, played a cruel joke on Rory McIlroy, making six birdies on the front nine and, with a couple of conceded holes tossed in, trounced the young Irishman 8 and 7 in the most lopsided match so far in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
When asked if his comedic talents in match play have escaped wider public scrutiny, Crane replied, "I think I'm just under the radar, period. I've never really advanced past the Sweet 16. So, I don't think anyone is going, wow, Ben Crane is really coming through his bracket--look out. Gosh, sorry you've got to play Ben Crane. Boy, tough draw there. So, anyway, I think that answers your question."
Last year Crane advanced, at least in part, when Henrik Stenson had to withdraw on the first hole of the first day with the flu. "This year Adam Scott had hurt his knee and didn't know if he was going to play," Crane said. "I'm glad I played golf yesterday. I love match play. I think we all do. It seems like each shot is a little more important in some ways."
-- Jim Moriarty