PALM CITY, Fla. — A field of 50 top mid-amateur players and 30 top senior amateur players met at Floridian in Palm City, Fla. this weekend for the 5th annual Crane Cup. Surprisingly, but also not surprisingly, it was 55-plus golfer Brady Exber of Las Vegas taking home the mid-amateur title.
Exber, who is fresh off a win out in California at the Stocker Cup, fired off three straight under-par rounds at Floridian to win by two over Brad Wilder and David Poteet.
"I couldn't be more proud of Brady for winning the Mid-Am Division over what is without a doubt the best field we've ever had," Tournament Director Kevin Marsh said.
After day one, there was a four-way tie for first place that didn't include the eventual winner. Wilder and Poteet, alongside Joseph Deraney and Stephen Anderson, were deadlocked at 3-under par 68 through Friday's opening round. Exber trailed by two but fired 70-68 over the weekend and claimed his second major mid-amateur title in the last two weeks.
Saturday's second round concluded with Wilder and Taylor Dio sharing the 36-hole lead. Dio's 66, the lowest score of the tournament, put him in position for a big win on Sunday but a final-round 75 forced him to settle for a fourth place showing. Meanwhile, Exber saved his best golf for Sunday as a 68 shot him into first place for good.
The two previous Mid-Am champions Colby Harwell (2013) and Mike McCoy (2014) rounded out the top five, tying for the fifth place spot at 1-over 214. McCoy came in with 68 on Sunday while Harwell posted 70.
In the Senior Division, Jack Hall of Savannah, Ga. finished tied through 54 holes with fellow Savannah resident Doug Hanzel. Hall, in his first trip to Floridian, won in a playoff over Hanzel. The two finished on top of the leaderboard by six strokes over the nearest competitor, with Pat Tallent and Pete Williams securing third place at 1-under 215.
Hall headed into Sunday with a two-stroke advantage over Hanzel, and Tommy Brennan sandwiched between the two Georgians. While Brennan's 80 dropped him back into sixth place, Hanzel fired 71 to top Hall's 73 and force a playoff.