Crane hit with two four-shot penalties at Boise Open

Crane hit with two four-shot penalties at Boise Open”

OK, so technically, Ben Crane wasn't assessed an eight-stroke penalty. Despite being put behind the eight (stroke) ball, Crane played his final 16 holes in three under par. Under Rule 4-1, that meant a two-stroke penalty per hole the non-conforming driver was in the bag.

Crane is playing in the Tour Finals because he finished 147th in the final PGA Tour FedEx Cup standings.

The stickers are used in with Trackman to collect data about his shots when he practices, so in addition to this being an unusual penalty, it's also one that could only happen to the modern tour pro.

The 41-year-old would start his day at Hillcrest Country Club's 10th hole, but before the day was out he had been hit with two four-shot penalties.

While Crane is behind the 8-ball to start round 2 in Boise, he's still now T6 on the list of 50 having finished T6 in the Finals-opener at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship.

And that was only the half of it.

A few holes later, the 14th to be exact, Crane noticed a decal on his 6-iron.

UPDATE: This unusual rules situation got even stranger on Friday morning when Crane was disqualified after telling an official he knew about the second non-conforming club at the time of him reporting that his driver had the training decal on it. It was another four-shot infraction, as that is the maximum amount punishable by the rule.

Crane has been a member of the PGA Tour every season since 2008 and has won on that circuit five times. He tied for sixth in the first Finals event and is now fourth - with 25 players earning cards at the end of the four-event set - in the standings. Remarkably, he took the eight shots in stride.

Per ESPN.con's Bob Harig, Crane had no hard feelings against those who made the decision: "The rules staff did a great job and tried just to make it a four-shot penalty, but the rule stands". Had Crane noticed the the sticker before putting out on the 10th hole, the penalty would have only been two shots. On the bright side, he still has a chance since using either of those clubs while they were non-conforming would have resulted in disqualification.

Match play or stroke play: If a breach is discovered between the play of two holes, it is deemed to have been discovered during play of the next hole, and the penalty must be applied accordingly. Since he finished between 126-200 on the FedExCup List, he was eligible for the Finals.

A tough Thursday, but Crane chose to see the positive in it all.

"You can still learn while you're playing", Crane said. "You can pick up something for the next tournament".

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