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Ben There, Done That

PGA TOUR player Ben Crane kept his gallery interested as he hit a variety of shots at the Pro Kids First Tee of San Diego Junior Golf Clinic in conjunction with the Farmers Insurance Open.
Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

January 26, 2011

By Joel Schuchmann, PGA TOUR Staff

LA JOLLA, Calif.—Just one hour after fielding questions from the national media as defending champion of the Farmers Insurance Open, Ben Crane’s toughest question may have come from a young junior at the Pro Kids First Tee of San Diego Junior Golf Clinic.

“Have you ever hit a car playing golf?"

“Yes,” said Crane, who hosted the clinic at Torrey Pines Golf Course for more than 100 boys and girls from the San Diego chapter of The First Tee. “Let’s just say it was not a good situation.”

In all seriousness, Crane wowed the crowd at the 30-minute clinic, hitting a variety of shots such as draws, fades and trick shots and answering questions ranging from life as a PGA TOUR professional, including an inquiry if he had ever met Tiger Woods.

“Golf is a lot like life,” Crane said when asked about what he had learned most from the sport. “You have to be patient, learn the rules and sometimes it is not fair. But in the end, hard work and perseverance pays off.”

Tom Wilson, Farmers Insurance Open tournament director, and Mhayse Samalya, president of Farmers Business Insurance, introduced Crane and also presented a $48,000 check to the Pro Kids First Tee of San Diego. Farmers first teamed with The First Tee in 2009 during the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

“I am impressed with the level of integrity and genuine care The First Tee shows to these young people,” said Samalya. “We are thrilled to be part of something that is truly life-changing for hundreds of kids who may not get this opportunity otherwise.”


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