Circumstances forced Crane out of British Open


It was an imperfect storm. No, not Ernie Els’ victory at the Open Championship just as the game’s rules makers inch closer to a final determination on the future of the long putter.

Said storm was the cascading set of circumstances that kept Ben Crane out of the field last week at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Crane, the first alternate in the overbooked Open field, was originally scheduled to fly on the private charter flight from the John Deere Classic to England for the year’s third major, but considering the large field size – 161 players at one point – he elected to fly home to Portland, Ore., and watch the withdrawal list before making the trip across the Atlantic Ocean.

According to Crane’s manager with 4U Management it wasn’t until Robert Karlsson’s bizarre withdrawal on Wednesday that Crane felt he had a chance to get into the 141st Open and by that time it was too late.

“By the time (Karlsson withdrew) Ben was trying to find a flight and the R&A called,” said Tommy Limbaugh with 4U Management. “They determined that he couldn’t get there by 6:30 a.m. (and Crane was removed from the alternate list).

“It’s not like they messed up or we messed up it’s just the earliest he could have gotten to Manchester (England) was 7:30 (a.m. on Thursday).”

Karlsson was replaced in the field by Michael Thompson, who missed the cut at Lytham with rounds of 74-73.