Golf

Ben Crane establishes two-shot lead at St Jude Classic

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Ben Crane leads the St. Jude Classic after the first day of play in Memphis, which was stopped early due to poor weather conditions.

The four time winner on the PGA Tour got to the top of the leaderboard at the end of day one, playing superbly, and he is now in a good position for the rest of the week.

Crane was faultless in his round of 63, as he reached seven-under-par for the day.

He did most of his work on the front-nine – making birdies at holes: one, two, three, eight and nine.

His back-nine was much quieter, but he avoided dropping any shots and two further birdies at 11 and 16 meant that he reached the end of the first day as the club-house leader.

He is being chased by a whole host of players, who are looking to leapfrog him at the top of the field and close his two shot lead.

One of these players is the relative unknown, Peter Malnati, who is in tied second position after a round of 65.

Malnati, a 26-year-old American, has enjoyed an understated career so far, with no wins as yet on the PGA Tour.

However, he is in a good position to claim his first ever success after the first day of play in Memphis.

Malnati is level with compatriot Billy Horschel, after the first 18 holes have been played.

His round was one that belied his ranking, with Malnati making six birdies and only dropping one shot – on the closing hole.

The man he is level with, Horschel, showed a similar level of consistency throughout the first day. He got off to a blistering start, making birdie on the second and eagle on the third and he carried his momentum over for the rest of his round.

Further birdies on the 15th, 16th and 18th followed with only one blemish – a bogey on 14 – on his scorecard.

There are also some big names that are well placed slightly further back than the initial front-runners.

Major winner, Zach Johnson, is in tied fourth place after a round of 66, whilst Phil Mickelson is also in the top ten after getting to three-under-par.

Mickelson has not been in good form this season, and is yet to finish in the top ten of any competition in the 2014 campaign, but he will be looking to capitalise on his impressive opening day showing here.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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