Crane wins McGladrey in playoff

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, Last Updated: 8:26 PM ET

Sea Island, GA - Ben Crane poured in eight birdies in a 10- hole span on Sunday to get into a playoff, providing him the opportunity to two-putt for par on the second playoff hole to beat Webb Simpson and win The McGladrey Classic.

Crane fired a seven-under 63 to get in first at 15-under-par 265. Simpson, who was in the penultimate group, posted a four-under 66 to join Crane in the playoff.

Before they returned to the 18th hole, third-round leader Michael Thompson bogeyed the final hole of regulation to card a one-under 69. That closing bogey dropped him out of the playoff, as he ended at minus-14 on the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort.

Simpson found a greenside bunker with his approach at the first extra hole, and Crane dropped his second within six feet. Simpson blasted to a foot from the sand.

With a chance to win, Crane missed his birdie chance on the left edge, and after they both tapped in for par, it was back to the 17th.

Both players found the green with their tee shots at the par-three 17th. Simpson was 35 feet away, while Crane was 13 feet closer.

Simpson missed that chance, and Crane ran his 22-footer past the hole as well. Crane made his par-saving putt to put the pressure on Simpson.

The 26-year-old Simpson pushed his three-foot putt right, and it spun off the lip to give Crane his first win of the season. Simpson still managed to take over the lead on the PGA Tour money list.

"It's unfortunate the way it ended, but it was a great week overall," Simpson said in a television interview. "I learned a lot. I know some things I've got to do to keep improving."

World No. 1 Luke Donald fell to second on the money list and will need no worse than a two-way tie for second-place finish next week in order to pass Simpson for the money title.

If Donald is successful, he has a chance to be the first player to top both the PGA Tour and European Tour money lists in the same season.

Billy Horschel had the lead at 14-under with birdies on the first and third, but he had three bogeys, a birdie, a double-bogey and a triple-bogey the rest of the way.

Horschel tumbled into a share of 20th and cost himself thousands of dollars that he needed to end inside the top 125 on the money list. He is now 137th on the list, but would have been much higher if he hadn't dropped so far from second.

After Horschel fell out of the lead, it looked like a two-man race between Simpson and Thompson.

Thompson birdied three in a row from the fourth to take a three-stroke lead. Simpson, who had birdied the first and fifth, converted birdies at 10 and 11 to get within one.

Thompson, who was going for his first PGA Tour title, stumbled to a bogey on No. 12 to fall into a share of the lead with Simpson. As those two were making pars from the 13th to 17th, Crane soared into the mix.

Crane opened with seven consecutive pars. He poured in four straight birdies from the eighth to move to 12-under. His birdie run ended with a bogey on the par-three 12th.

After a par on 13, Crane birdied the 14th to start his second run of four birdies in a row. That spurt gave him a share of the lead at 15-under. Crane two-putted for par from over 60 feet out on No. 18, then waited to see what would happen.

"I wasn't even looking at the leaderboard because I didn't feel like I had an opportunity to look at the leaderboard," Crane said in a TV interview. "I was just riding a hot putter, making those big putts at 10 and 11, then again at 14 and 15.

"I looked up on the 16th green and was like, 'Wow, I'm two back.' I ran one in there, then the adrenaline went through me when I birdied 17."

Simpson had six consecutive pars from the 12th and needed a birdie at the last to move ahead of Crane. Instead, Simpson left his 35-foot birdie try short and tapped in for par to end alongside Crane.

Thompson had a chance to close out his first tour win with a birdie at the last. However, he hit his drive into a hazard right of the fairway. After taking a drop, Thompson played his third to 26 feet.

If he made the par putt, it would have been a three-way playoff. Instead, Thompson was unable to convert, and the closing bogey left him alone in third at minus-14. He still moved into top 100 on the money list, so he will likely keep his tour card for 2012.

"In the big picture, it's not a bad thing. Hey, I get to play next year and that's a huge accomplishment," Thompson said. "Check that off the list, and you never know. I'm playing good and next week, I might have a chance again."

NOTES: Crane claimed $720,0000 for the victory and will have more to celebrate on Monday as his wife is scheduled to give birth to their third child....The tour heads to Florida next week for the final official event of the year, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. Robert Garrigus won that title by three strokes last year.


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