The TPC Southwind has been hammered by rain for two days. That caused the second round to have to roll into Saturday to complete and a re-pairing that ended with the leader, Ben Crane, only getting in six holes. With a reinforcing of Friday’s good play, he birdied the first hole to move to 13-under and a 5-shot lead over Troy Merritt.
From the sounds of it, many of the players are staying some distance from the course. Not Crane. Playing in his ninth FedEx St. Jude Classic he’s figured out the ropes in Memphis. He has rented a house 300 yards from the course with Cameron Tringale and Chesson Hadley and they have a friend who’s come in to do the cooking for them.
So while everyone else was out there Saturday morning finishing the second round, Ben and the boys were sleeping in and in Ben’s case, getting a nap in on top of that.
One interesting insider note was that because they didn’t have time to mow the greens after the second round was finally complete — because the start of the third round had already started feeding onto the course — they just rolled them. And here’s the interesting part: they texted the players to let them know.
Crane only managed to get in six holes of the third round, so everyone will be back in position to resume at 7:00 AM. With just a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms, they just might be able to get the whole thing in on Sunday. Sunset is 8:13 PM.
As for Sunday, he already has a plan for defending his lead:
“I think, you know, you do it shot by shot. I think that when it comes time you’re going to try to squeeze a 7-iron back there, you’re going to try to hit a 8-iron in the middle of the green. I think some of those decisions I might start aiming a little more towards the middles and stuff to try to protect a little bit. For the most part, you got to play golf. Try not to think about it.”
“I’ve growing so much. I feel like my mental game has grown so much. I’m excited about that. I just want to kind of keep going with that. My caddy, unbelievable in helping. We’re kind of having fun out there and citing a lot of Scripture. Trying to stay at peace and get after it.”
The most salient pull-quote from this answer is:
“For the most part, you got to play golf. Try not to think about it.”
Good advice even when you don’t have a 5-shot lead.