More spoof videos to come from Crane

By Rex HoggardJanuary 10, 2013, 4:46 pm

The most-recent edition to the Ben Crane spoof series of online videos, released on Wednesday and dubbed “Slow Life,” featured a little reality mixed amid the comic relief.

While shooting a scene for “Slow Life,” a concept suggested by one of Crane’s followers on Twitter that pokes fun of the Tour player’s well-documented languid pace on the golf course, Crane was being filmed driving too slow on the highway when he spotted a police officer issuing another motorist a ticket.

“He had someone pulled over and I pulled up in front of him and he was kind of upset that I’d stopped,” Crane told GTC late Wednesday from his home in Texas. “But I told him we were filming a video and asked if there was any way he could pretend to pull me over for driving too slow. It was awesome.”

The video, Crane’s sixth and the second of four “Therapy Sessions” editions, already had 9,900 views on YouTube less than 24 hours after being posted. His inaugural video, “On Working Out,” was posted in October 2010 has 1.1 million views.

Crane said he plans to release the other two videos from the “Therapy Sessions” series in the next few weeks along with another music video from the “Golf Boys” – which includes Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Rickie Fowler – probably in early February.

Not that there is any rhyme or reason to Crane’s production moonlighting, which began when he filmed a dance video for a friend’s 50th birthday.

“George Clooney came up to me three times at the party and said, ‘You made this party,’” Crane said of the dance video that has never been made public. “I was like, ‘Is somebody recording this?’ Clooney telling me I made the party.”

Crane said it took about five days to shoot “Slow Life,” although he says it is worth the effort because of the feedback he gets from his growing legion of fans.

“Just because I’ve played slow golf in the past and I love Jesus doesn’t mean I can’t have fun,” Crane said. “If anything I should have more fun. It’s so cool to be playing golf with people and they will ask, ‘Are we playing from the middle of the now?’ What does that mean?”

As for Crane’s day job, he plans to make his first start of the Tour season in two weeks at the Farmers Insurance Open and, after an injury-riddled 2012, said he is as healthy as he has been in some time – both physically and, after filming his four “Therapy Sessions” videos, mentally.

“I was really working through a lot of issues,” he laughed.

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.