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Last Updated:  Sunday, 6 April, 2003, 21:37 GMT 22:37 UK
Crane claims Classic title
American Ben Crane
Crane is in only his second year on the tour
American Ben Crane claimed his first US Tour title in style with victory in the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta.

Little-known Crane equalled the course record with a final-round 63 at Sugarloaf for a 16-under total of 272.

The 27-year-old from Oregon eagled the last to be home in 29 and was 17-under for his last two rounds.

Amazingly, he had only survived the halfway cut on Friday by a single shot on one over.

Former USPGA champion Bob Tway, who led by four shots at one stage in the final round, finished four shots back in second.

Former US Open champion Retief Goosen was a shot further adrift in joint third alongside American duo Jay Williamson and Hank Kuehne.

-16 Ben Crane
-12 Bob Tway
-11 Retief Goosen, Jay Williamson, Hank Kuehne
-10 John Rollins, Stewart Cink, Tom Pernice Jr
-9 Chris DiMarco, Paul Lawrie, Brenden Pappas, J J Henry

Crane, in only his second year on the tour, said: "I played great today. I knew if I could go low I would have a chance but I'm still a little numb.

"I've been struggling on the weekends, making a lot of cuts but not making a move on the weekend.

"But I played fantastic on Saturday and I was able to get hot with my putter and that's what carried the momentum through the last two rounds.

Crane's victory means he qualifies for the US Open and USPGA, but he will miss next week's US Masters.

"It's a lifelong goal to play in the Masters and although I just missed out it doesn't really take anything away from this win," added Crane.

"I think it's a blessing after my first big win that I can go home and take two weeks off."

Overnight leader Lee Janzen stumbled to a closing 77 to finish in a tie for 13th, going from six ahead of Crane to eight shots behind.

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