IRVING, Texas – Portand native Ben Crane is a West Coast guy, so the context wasn’t lost on him.
On Day 2 at the AT&T Byron Nelson he had almost as many “3s” on his card (10) as Stephen Curry has had in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.
“That’s funny,” he smiled. “I glanced at my scorecard at one point and saw all those ‘3s’ and I made a ‘2’ at [No.] 17. I thought, man I’m playing well.”
That might have been an understatement considering the veteran set a new 36-hole scoring record at the Nelson with his 12-under total following a second-round 63.
Crane’s run of seven consecutive “3s” began with a 2-foot birdie putt at the 18th hole (he started on No. 10) and ended with a scrambling par at the par-5 seventh hole after needing four shots to reach the green. It prompted him to flash a “five” sign after rolling in the 8-foot par save.
“That was a heck of a ‘5,’ because it could have really been a momentum killer,” said Crane, who leads a group that includes Jordan Spieth, Sergio Garcia and Brooks Koepka by a stroke. “I know we were in a lot of different places, but that’s a ‘5.’”
His play this week in Dallas – where he lived for a dozen years earlier in his career – is a dramatic turnaround for Crane, who hasn’t finished inside the top 10 at a PGA Tour event since winning the 2014 FedEx St. Jude Classic.
“I’ve struggled for really three years now, but I probably have been more dedicated than I’ve ever been,” he said.