No Wonder Ben Crane Plays So Slow
By Stephanie Wei under General

When the name Ben Crane pops up — even if his name is near the top of the leaderboard — it’s usually followed with a slow play joke. (But because he’s such a nice guy, we feel bad.)

Crane, who fired a five-under 67 on Thursday at The Players, rattled on about his “awesome game plan” and painstakingly elaborate mental process, which have apparently equipped him to handle the pressure of being in contention on a Sunday. For the first time in his career, he knows “exactly what to think about.”

In his post-round press conference, Crane explained his intricate system:

As far as my mental game, yeah, before each shot, we call it the pre-load. I do some things. I have a checklist of basically things I go through that free me up and allow me to really execute the best I can.

The hole, before, during and after each shot, we call that the program, and the whole day we call the process.

Honestly? I’m sorry, he’s setting himself up for easy jokes. Crane went on to discuss something about the roles the left brain and the right brain play in his mental approach. If you ask me, it sounds like he’s doing way too much thinking before and after each shot, not to mention during.

What’s more, he rates each shot on a scale of 1 to 5 based on how well he was able to execute it given the circumstances.’s Helen Ross reports:

As he walked from green to tee, Crane quietly signaled his agent, Tommy Limbaugh, who recorded the numbers on a sheet of paper with his own thoughts, as well.

“I’ll get into position where he can find me,” Limbaugh said. “He’ll give me a hand signal (with the number of fingers signifying the rating), in the order of the shots…Our goal each day is to have only 4s and 5s.”

For the love of God. I mean, that’s a lot of gesturing and thinking. Are we really surprised it takes Crane longer than everyone else to get around the course? Crane, who is aware of his tortoise-like pace, has said he’s “trying” to improve, but hasn’t he been saying that since, like, 2005? Just ask Rory Sabbatini.