Practice Makes Perfect Day at Torrey Pines

Ben Crane signs autographs for kids after giving a golf clinic.

Ben Crane, defending champion of the Farmers Insurance Open, was seemingly everywhere Tuesday at Torrey Pines.

Crane joined many of his peers in the morning on the driving range, then he stroked a few putts on the practice green before heading out at noon for a few practice holes on the South Course. Later, Crane made his way to the media tent to answer a few questions, like: How challenging is it trying to repeat as tournament champion?

“I’m not really expecting a lot this week,” said Crane. “What are the chances that someone actually defends their title when they’re not Tiger Woods? It doesn’t happen very often.

“My goal this week is to enjoy the week. We’ve got a lot of close friends here, and it’s going to be a beautiful tournament. The weather is fantastic. My goal is to look at the ocean a lot, thank God for creating this place and putting me in this place and just enjoy the weekend. Kind of not try to expect too much from golf.”

After that gathering, it was off to another one with an audience full of questions. On the No. 4 hole of the North Course Crane hosted a golf clinic for more than a 100 youngsters. He passed on pointers to the kids, awed them with a few trick shots and afterwards autographed everything and anything they offered for his signature (as talented as these players are at hitting a golf ball, it’s even more impressive that they can sign legibly on something round with dimples).

As big a presence as Crane has been at Torrey since winning — his picture is plastered on the program and on signage throughout the venue — kids have a way of keeping one grounded.

Crane walk toward the clubhouse as he signed autographs when one of the children asked, “What’s your name again?”

“Ben Crane,” he said. “What’s yours?”

“Jaden,” came the reply.

Jaden, like the other children, came away with a Farmers Insurance hat and T-shirt as well as a golf ball. And perhaps something else that he may not realize for a few years.

“This clinic shows that golf is more than just a game,” said Kevin Kelso, a Farmers Insurance spokesman. “It builds character and discipline — traits that will serve these young people well in life.”

Said Crane: “The focus, the commitment to excellence and the sportsmanship of the game have helped me achieve success, both on the course and in my personal life. Being able to share some of these important lessons with local youth is humbling and enriching.”

This entry was posted in Family Vacations, Golf & Sports, Insider Tips, San Diego Events and tagged , , , , by Kirk. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kirk

About: Kirk Kenney

I first gripped a baseball at the age of six. The game has had its grip on me ever since. I enjoy watching and writing about Little League, high school and college as much or more as the major leagues. I would be consumed by golf if it wasn’t for this voice in my head whispering “pay the mortgage, pay the mortgage, pay the mortgage.” I enjoying reading a good book, but I’m more likely to watch a good movie. I was born and raised in San Diego. If not, I’m sure I would have moved here.

What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?

I’d join three of my buddies at sunrise in the first group off the tee at Torrey Pines, then head up the coast a few miles to enjoy Mexican food for lunch at Las Olas in Cardiff. We’d drop down to Del Mar after that, grab our Boogie boards (waiting an hour after eating, of course, before going in the water) and catch a few waves, then wash off the sand and head downtown to Petco Park to catch a Padres game.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

There’s no way to pick just one. It doesn’t get much better here than playing a round of golf — especially a twilight round where the last putt falls just as the sun sets — because you can do it year-round. My wife and I also enjoy kayaking on Mission Bay or riding bikes along Crown Point Shores.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Burger and a beer. Make that a root beer. Nothing beats Mug Old Fashioned poured over two scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Latest music purchases for my iPod player are...

Crazy Heart: The Weary Kind (movie soundtrack)

Lady Antebellum: Need You Now

Eagles: Long Road Out of Eden

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