PGA Dream Come True

BEN CRANE is having the time of his life, and it's not just because he's a PGA Tour player with his card already secured for this year.
by Tim Waits

For the enthusiastic Tour rookie from Oregon, playing golf at the highest level is all the more exciting because it's a chance to represent Jesus Christ on a grander stage.

"I'm feeling very blessed. It's a dream coming true," Crane says. "It's been really neat to speak into people's lives. It's great to be in a position to tell people the reason for the joy I have."

Crane reached the PGA Tour via qualifying school last fall. He won't have to worry about Q-school for next year. His second-place finish and $518,400 check from the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic sealed his status on the Tour.

In the final round of that tournament, Crane mixed the skills of a veteran contender with rookie exuberance. His excitement made him a crowd favorite and his 65 left him just two shots behind Shigeki Maruyama while bettering hard-charging Tiger Woods and playing partner Ernie Els.

He topped that the following weekend by getting married.

"It was so nice to play well before the biggest day in my life"other than praying the prayer to accept Christ"knowing that I would be becoming one with my wife," he says of his marriage to Heather Heinz. "I didn't want to have missed five or six cuts an be thinking about that. I wanted to end on a high note."

Crane, who came to faith at age 8 following the model of his parents, Doug and Katy, makes it a habit to memorize new Scripture with his caddie each day during tournaments. Ephesians 3:20 has been particularly special to him this season.

"There is so much power in the Word of God," he says. "That is what kept me going through the tough times. God's given me a gift and allows me to play with enthusiasm."

Taken from Sports Spectrum, a Christian sports magazine. Used by permission. For subscription information call 1-800-283-8333.

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