MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ben Crane estimates he slept less than three hours in a night spent praying and thanking God that his game finally has come back around.
Then he played 30 holes Sunday in winning the St. Jude Classic for his first PGA Tour title since 2011, setting off a celebration that included hugging his caddie and high-fiving a reporter. Crane also choked back some tears as he looked at text messages filling his phone.
“Oh my gosh, it just keeps going,” Crane said, looking at his phone. “How many can a phone hold?”
Crane closed with a 3-over-par 73 for a one-stroke victory, going wire to wire for his fifth career victory. Rain delays forced him into the marathon session Sunday at TPC Southwind, finishing 12 holes in the morning in a third-round 69 to take a three-shot lead into the final round.
He two-putted for bogey on the final hole to finish at 10-under 270, days after failing to qualify for the U.S. Open. That marked a low point for the 38-year-old player who spent the past six months reworking his swing to protect his back wondering if his career was over. He spent time with a coach picturing the right way to hit shots.
Everything clicked Thursday with an opening 63.
“I did not expect the hole to open up like that and just start making putts from everywhere,” Crane said. “Just hit a lot of quality shots and obviously built a nice lead to start out with.”
Troy Merritt was second after a 71. Webb Simpson (65), Matt Every (70) and Carl Pettersson (69) were 8 under, and Ian Poulter had a 64 to tie for sixth at 7 under.
Phil Mickelson left winless in his 20th event since the British Open. He tied for 11th at 6-under after a 72.
PARK PREVAILS IN CANADA: In Waterloo, Ontario, Inbee Park won the Manulife Financial Classic for her first LPGA Tour title in more than 11 months, matching the course record with a 10-under 61 for a three-stroke victory.
A week after losing the top spot in the world ranking to Stacy Lewis, Park finished at 23-under 261 at Grey Silo for her 10th LPGA Tour title and first since the U.S. Women’s Open.
The 25-year-old South Korean player had only one bogey in 72 holes — on the fourth hole in the first round. On Sunday, she played the front nine in 5-under 31 and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12-14 and 18.
SLUMAN, FUNK TOP LEGENDS: In Ridgedale, Missouri, Jeff Sluman and Fred Funk teamed to win the Legends of Golf, and Jim Colbert and Jim Thorpe topped the Legends Division for players 65 and older.
Sluman and Funk finished with a 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock, the first par-3 course used in a PGA Tour-sanctioned event, to beat Jay Haas and Peter Jacobsen by a stroke.
The winners finished at 20-under 159.
U.S. CRUISES: In St. Louis, Alabama’s Emma Talley wrapped up the United States’ Curtis Cup victory, beating Britain and Ireland’s Bronte Law 4 and 3 in the opening singles match at St. Louis Country Club.
The United States won 13-7 to improve to 28-7-3 in the biennial competition.