October 31, 2010 / 8:41 AM / 9 years ago

Ben Crane birdies final hole to win Malaysian thriller

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Ben Crane won his fourth PGA Tour title on Sunday when he calmly rolled in an eight foot birdie putt at the final hole to win the $6 million co-sanctioned Asia Pacific Classic in Malaysia.

Overnight leader Crane struck a final round two-under-par 69 for an 18-under, 266, total as he held off a brave charge from England’s Brian Davis to win by one-shot at the Mines Resort and Golf Club and claim the first PGA Tour event in South east Asia.

“This has been a really special week, from the time we arrived till now. I had a great opportunity with that putt (on 18th) which I’ll always remember,” said Crane, who pocketed the $1 million check in Kuala Lumpur.

“I was so nervous and I was just praying. I just wanted to hit a good putt and to see it go into the hole, it felt so good.”

Crane’s three consecutive bogies from the 12th hole looked to have put paid to his first Asian Tour title bid but he regained his composure to fire an eagle two at the par four 15th.

“I hit an unbelievable shot on 15 with my driver and that kind of turned things around,” Crane said. “It was an exciting turnaround. That was an unbelievable finish.”

The 292-yard hole proved to be decisive.

As Crane celebrated his success at the 15th, Davis was left frustrated at missing a straightforward par putt at the hole which proved crucial.

“I missed a short putt on the par-four 15th which was a big error there,” Davis said.

The Englishman recovered to finish birdie-eagle-birdie to close with a final round of 66 to tie Crane as leader in the clubhouse before the American sank the winning putt on the last.

“I played good all week and kept myself in the hunt,” said Davis, who is still searching for his first win on the PGA Tour.

“ (I) Finished strong but it just quite wasn’t good enough. I am quite disappointed.”

Scot Martin Laird (66) and England’s Luke Donald (67) shared third place while three-times major winner Ernie Els of South Africa finished tied fifth with a final round 66.

Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Patrick Johnston

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