Ben Crane held off several late charges to capture the first ever co-sanctioned PGA Tour and Asian Tour event with a gritty 2-under par 69 to win the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic at The Mines Resort and golf club, Malaysia.
After three successive bogeys between the 12th and 14th holes to drop behind Scotland’s Martin Laird, Crane, who had started the final round with a two shot lead drove the par-4 15th hole and holed out for eagle to regain a one-shot advantage.
A win looked assured as he found the par-5 17th hole in two, but with considerable distance between him and the flag, he three-putted for par.
With Laird in the clubhouse at 16-under par, he was joined by Ryder Cup player Luke Donald but it was another Englishman, Brian Davis who posed the sternest threat to Crane as he carded birdie-eagle-birdie on his closing three holes to reach 17-under and turn the screw on the American.
Crane needed a birdie on the last hole – a hole he had played bogey-par-par in his previous round – to seal the win and after a fairway-splitting drive, shot to within 8 feet and holed out for the $1million-winning putt.
A three-time winner on the PGA Tour, Crane’s last win had come in the early season Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
Australian Robert Allenby shot a best-of-the-day 64 to share fifth place with five other players – Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler, DJ Trahan, Ryan Moore and Mardan Mamat; the sextet finishing on 14-under par.
As one of the largest contributors to the 19th hole, I am responsible for many of the lead articles including our famous tournament previews where I tip the worlds best from the European and PGA Tours.