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QUICK TAKE: Ben Crane Picks Up the Pace

Ben Crane
Ben Crane, once known as one of the PGA Tour's slowest players, says he's gotten faster. Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Picture Supplied by Action Images

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Here’s an unpopular opinion: Pace of play on the PGA Tour is actually getting faster.  

Ben Crane, notorious for his sloth-like pace, believes it wholeheartedly. After opening the Honda Classic with a 4-under 66, Crane conveyed a sense of optimism that the game’s pace is heading in the right direction.

“The past couple of years it seems like we are playing faster than we did three years ago,” Crane said. “As they keep lowering the time par, there is no wiggle room. I think they are doing a great job.”  

Players such as Jason Day have openly admitted to slowing down, but Crane has gone in the opposite direction.

“I like where I am right now,” Crane said. “I think one of the big things that (rules official) Jon Brendle and others have helped me with is just being ready to play. When someone else is playing, even if you are 10 yards ahead, you need to get your number and start visualizing the shot.”

It hasn’t been the best of times for Crane — he has only one top-10 since the beginning of 2015 — but the energetic 40-year-old expressed faith that better days are near. He opened his post-round press conference by offering to sing Stairway to Heaven and then gave a glowing review of his on-course effort.

“I look at today like, ‘Wow, I made some putts.’ I played solid all day. I misjudged the lie on the last hole, but in golf, if you hit four out of five good ones, you are doing pretty good.”

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