Crane Cruises (Slowly) Past Rory
By Stephanie Wei under European PGA Tour

Ben Crane has finally figured out how to quicken the pace. Just throttle your opponent. Crane set a personal record for time taken to finish a round as he obliterated Rory McIlroy 8&7 at the Match Play Championship on Thursday. Crane carded six birdies on his way to eliminating McIlroy in the second round to tie the second-largest margin of victory at this event.

The rout was somewhat of an upset for the 21-year-old from Northern Ireland, who reached the quarterfinals two years ago as a teen. Crane has advanced to the third round at Match Play for the second consecutive year, even if it wasn’t been the most conventional route.

“Well, last year was an interesting way to advance to the third round,” said Crane in his post-round press conference. “My first match was a bye; Henrik Stenson withdrew on the first hole. This year Adam Scott had hurt his knee and didn’t know if he was going to play. Anyway, so I’m very pleased to make the third round.”

Asked if felt he was underrated as a match-play guy, Crane laughed and said, “I think I’m just under the radar, period.

“Underrated as a match play player? I’ve never really advanced, I think, past the Sweet 16. So I don’t think that anyone is going, wow, Ben Crane is really coming through this bracket — look out. Gosh, sorry you’ve got to play Ben Crane, boy, tough draw there.”

As we know from his recent viral videos, Crane has a good sense of humor.

Meanwhile, McIlroy was able to find humor in getting clobbered. Here’s a look at his Twitter feed post-loss:

At least Rory’s a good sport!

Crane faces Miguel Angel Jimenez in the round of 16 on Friday.

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)