Golf: Crane holds onto St. Jude Classic lead after suspended 2nd round
Golf • Leader is 7 shots ahead after partial 2nd round.
Published: June 6, 2014 10:56PM
Updated: June 6, 2014 11:46PM
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Ben Crane is congratulated by his caddie, left, after Crane sank a birdie putt on the 16th hole during the second round of the St. Jude Classic golf tournament Friday, June 6, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Memphis, Tenn. • Ben Crane’s back is OK, and his putter couldn’t be working much better.

The combination helped him shoot a 5-under 65 on Friday to open a six-stroke lead in the St. Jude Classic before heavy rain delayed play twice and forced the suspension of play for the day.

Crane birdied his final hole Thursday night for a 63 and rolled in a 44-footer for birdie to start the second round Friday morning. He had a 12-under 128 total at TPC Southwind, matching the winning score in relation to par last year.

“I certainly didn’t see this coming,” Crane said. “But you know when you’re putting well, I started to feel like I was a little more in control of my ball, just felt like I was tightening my draws and fades a little bit. I had access to some holes I haven’t this year and so gosh, it’s been an incredible two days.”

Crane has spent the past six months changing his swing to protect his back. A four-time PGA Tour winner, Crane’s last win came in 2011 at the McGladrey Classic and his best finish this year was a tie for ninth in the Humana Challenge in January. But he was in such pain he had a therapist with him for treatment during the round.

“It’s been a really, really hard year, racking my brain what’s going on, what’s going wrong and have I changed that much,” Crane said. “You start wondering, ‘Am I going to get it back?’ So this is super encouraging. My wife said last night, ‘looks like you still got it.’ Because you wonder. But anyway, it’s been a fun start.”

Carl Pettersson and Jason Bohn were tied for second at 6 under. Pettersson had one hole left, and Bohn had two to play. Davis Love III (70) and Billy Horschel (68) were in at 5 under.

Phil Mickelson and Retief Goosen were unable to start the second round. Mickelson, winless in his last 19 events since the British Open, opened with a 67 on Thursday, and Goosen had a 66.

LPGA Tour

Defending champion Hee Young Park and Shanshan Feng topped the second-round leaderboard Friday in the LPGA Tour’s Manulife Financial Classic in Waterloo, Ontario, a stroke ahead of Michelle Wie.

Park had a 5-under 66 to match Feng at 11-under 131 at Grey Silo. Feng shot a 66.

Last year, Park beat Angela Stanford with a birdie on the third playoff hole after they finished at 26-under 258 to match the tour record for lowest total score.

Wie, the winner in Hawaii in April, followed her opening 65 with a 67.

Second-ranked Inbee Park was four strokes back at 7 under with a 66.

Friday’s results

St. Jude Classic

Yardage • 7,239; Par • 70 (35-35)

Suspended second round

Ben Crane 63-65 — 128 -12

Davis Love III 65-70 — 135 -5

Billy Horschel 67-68 — 135 -5

J.J. Henry 66-70 — 136 -4

Chesson Hadley 67-69 — 136 -4

G. Fdez-Castano 67-70 — 137 -3

Matt Every 69-68 — 137 -3

Graeme McDowell 69-68 — 137 -3

Jerry Kelly 71-67 — 138 -2

George McNeill 69-69 — 138 -2

Danny Lee 72-67 — 139 -1

Charlie Wi 68-71 — 139 -1

Luke Guthrie 67-72 — 139 -1

John Daly 72-67 — 139 -1

Stuart Appleby 65-74 — 139 -1

Boo Weekley 69-70 — 139 -1

Joe Durant 66-75 — 141 +1

Andres Romero 68-73 — 141 +1

Ricky Barnes 68-73 — 141 +1

Chad Collins 71-70 — 141 +1

Tag Ridings 70-71 — 141 +1

Kyle Stanley 69-72 — 141 +1

Russell Knox 72-70 — 142 +2

Joe Ogilvie 69-74 — 143 +3

Troy Matteson 71-72 — 143 +3

Scott Langley 72-71 — 143 +3

J.B. Holmes 73-70 — 143 +3

Stephen Ames 71-73 — 144 +4

Mark Wilson 71-73 — 144 +4

Russell Henley 70-75 — 145 +5

Steven Bowditch 71-74 — 145 +5

LPGA-Manulife Financial Classic

Yardage • 6,330; Par • 71 (36-35) Second round

Shanshan Feng 66-65 — 131

Hee Young Park 65-66 — 131

Michelle Wie 65-67 — 132

Anna Nordqvist 69-64 — 133

Xi Yu Lin 67-67 — 134

Inbee Park 69-66 — 135

Na Yeon Choi 68-67 — 135

Belen Mozo 68-67 — 135

So Yeon Ryu 68-67 — 135

Caroline Masson 69-67 — 136

Marina Alex 68-68 — 136

Jacqui Concolino 68-68 — 136

Jee Young Lee 68-68 — 136

Kristy McPherson 68-68 — 136

Cristie Kerr 67-69 — 136

Anya Alvarez 71-66 — 137

Meena Lee 70-67 — 137

Suzann Pettersen 70-67 — 137