Slow and Steady Wins the Race


US Bank Championship in MilwaukeeMILWAUKEE -- Ben Crane used a chip-in eagle on Sunday to shoot a 1-under 69 and cruise to victory at the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee. He finished at 20-under-par 260 and won by four shots at Brown Deer Park Golf Course.
This was his second PGA Tour win after titling at the 2003 BellSouth Classic. Crane became the second wire-to-wire champion in tournament history, joining Ed Snead who turned the trick in 1974. Crane also matched Loren Roberts' 2000 tournament record with his 260 total.
'I felt like my game was coming around and I'm excited, but I didn't think I was going to come here and play like this wire-to-wire,' said Crane, who pocketed $684,000 for the win.
Nobody made a move at Crane all day Sunday, but Scott Verplank finished alone in second place. He shot a final-round, 1-over 71 and came in at 16-under-par 264.
Chad Campbell birdied five of his last six holes on Sunday to fire a 5-under 65. He took third place at minus-15, one shot better than Jeff Sluman, who carded a 2-under 68.
Crane began the final round with a two-shot lead over Verplank, but extended it quickly with a 5-foot birdie putt at the second. He dropped a shot at the fourth when his drive landed in the left rough, but a hole-out eagle from the side of the green at the par-5 sixth gave him a comfortable cushion.
He bogeyed the seventh, then parred his next five holes. At the 13th, Crane's drive landed in the left rough and his approach ran through the green. He chipped to 12 feet and missed the par putt, but no one in the field capitalized.
Verplank parred his final six holes and Campbell, who trailed by nine at the start of Sunday's last round, had too much ground to make up on Crane.
Crane made a couple of spectacular par saves late on his back nine. At the par-3 14th, Crane went through the green with his tee ball, but flopped his second to a foot. At the par-5 15th, he went for the green with his second shot and came to rest right of the green in trees. Crane missed the putting surface with his third, but chipped to 2 feet and converted the par putt.
Crane rolled in a 15-footer for birdie at the 17th to all but assure victory. He had a good look at birdie at the last, but it did not fall. No matter, as he finished first in the tournament in putting on the way to hoisting the trophy.
'I got the practice green on Thursday and all of a sudden, my alignment clicks,' said Crane. 'The ball started tumbling down the line and I went with it. It hung with me all week and I'm thankful for that. It was fun.'
Crane can now be more noted for winning on the PGA Tour instead of something else. He is known as one of the slowest players on tour, and at the Booz Allen Classic, his playing partner Rory Sabbatini teed off without him on the 18th hole Sunday.
This Sunday, Crane came in almost 10 minutes ahead of schedule.
'We got on the clock and I decided I needed to play the rest of the round like I was on the clock,' admitted Crane. 'I tried to keep my pace up because that's what's most fair to my playing partners. I wish I could flip a switch, but it's going to take a little bit of time.'
Steve Elkington posted a 2-under 68 and tied for fifth place with Chris Smith, who carded a 1-over 71 on Sunday. The duo came in at 13-under-par 267.
Two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen fired a 5-under 65 and shared seventh with Mark Calcavecchia, who posted a 69 in the final round. They were knotted at minus-12.
Kenny Perry struggled to a 3-over 73 on Sunday and shared ninth with Brad Faxon (68), Dean Wilson (68), Glen Day (66) and John Huston (69). The group was tied at 11-under-par 269.
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