Crane fends off Davis

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 10:35 AM ET

SELANGOR, Malaysia -- Ben Crane birdied the final hole Sunday to shoot a two-under 69 and win the Asia Pacific Classic Malaysia by one stroke.

Crane, who briefly fell out of the lead during the final round, finished at 18-under-par 266. The victory for the first PGA Tour-sanctioned event in Southeast Asia was unofficial.

"I've never won a tournament where it's been hanging on a putt like that on the last hole," admitted Crane, who earned $1 million for the win. "Earlier this year, I had a short putt to win, but I've never experienced anything like today. It's a very special feeling."

Brian Davis fired a five-under 66 at The Mines Resort & Golf Club to take second place at minus-17. Martin Laird (66) and Luke Donald (67) shared third place at 16-under-par 268.

Crane made the turn with a three-stroke lead, but trouble loomed. After pars on 10 and 11, he struggled to three straight bogeys from the 12th to fall one stroke behind Laird at 15-under.

The 34-year-old Crane drained a 10-foot eagle putt on the short par-four 15th to jump back into the lead. As he parred the next two holes, Davis caught Crane atop the leaderboard.

Crane converted an eight-foot birdie putt at the last to secure the victory.

"I didn't know where I stood all day except for the start. My goal was to play my best," Crane stated. "I told my caddie before the round that I might need to know the situation. We're walking up 18 and he said what do you need to know and I said nothing.

"That would have added pressure to the putt. I heard someone in the crowd say playoff and I thought I might be in. I had a great opportunity with that putt which I'll always remember."

On the front nine, Crane carded birdies on the third and ninth to go with seven pars.

Davis wrapped birdies on the first and third around a bogey on the second. He moved to 14-under with a birdie on the eighth. Around the turn, Davis dropped another stroke on the 10th.

The Englishman bounced back with a birdie on the 13th, but tripped to another bogey on the 15th. Davis nearly grabbed the victory with a hot closing stretch.

Davis birdied the 16th and followed with an eagle on 17. He birdied the last to get in at minus-17.

Americans Rickie Fowler (67), Ryan Moore (69) and D.J. Trahan (68) ended in a share of fifth place at 14-under-par 270. They were joined by Ernie Els (66), Robert Allenby (64) and Mardan Mamat (69).

NOTES: Carl Pettersson entered the final round in second place, but closed with a two-over 73 to slide into a tie for 15th at minus-12...Phil Mickelson will defend his title next week at the WGC-HSBC Champions...Tiger Woods, who will lose his No. 1 world ranking on Monday, will return to action for the first time since the Ryder Cup.


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