May 18, 2012In most years, Ben Crancer's 36-hole score of 144 (71, 73) at the par-72 Silo Ridge Golf and Country Club in Bolivar would have won the Missouri State Golf Championship.
But the Kirkwood High School senior finished three strokes back and got second place. He placed fourth as a freshman and third as a sophomore, but missed his entire junior year season because of a broken hand.
Rockhurst's Jason Huska won with a 36-hole total of 141 (71, 70) to lead the Hawklets to the state team title with a score of 600.
In the final hole of the tournament, Crancer needed an eagle to perhaps tie Huska. Crancer hit a drive off the tee more than 300 yards on the 521-yard hole. Crancer eventually parred the hole while Huska calmly birdied a two-foot putt after hitting a shot from 100 yards away in front of a huge crowd.
After the first day, Crancer was in a second-place tie. He triple bogeyed the 15th hole that cost him a chance for the lead. He had four birdies in what he described as a "solid round." On the second day, he had one eagle, two birdies, one double bogey and three bogeys.
"He hit some great shots and he put himself in position to win," Kirkwood Golf Coach B.J. Kenyon said. "The course didn't beat him. His opponent beat him."
Crancer, who is Texas A&M bound, said he would have liked to have won the state title, but accepting his fate is just as important.
"It was not that bad," Crancer said. "I can't complain. I can't do anything after the fact. I gave it a run for the lead. I kind of struggled a little bit. I couldn't get anything going. I don't think I was terrible. I didn't take advantage of my opportunities."
Crancer said he plans to play in several top summer tournaments before heading off to Texas A&M in College Station. If he makes the Aggies' top five during pre-season, his first round of college golf will be at Pebble Beach.
"That's the goal," Crancer said.
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