Ben Curtis (golfer)

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Ben Curtis
— Golfer —
Personal information
Full name Ben Clifford Curtis
Born (1977-05-26) May 26, 1977 (age 45)
Columbus, Ohio
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality  United States
Residence Kent, Ohio
Spouse Candace Curtis
Children Liam, Addison
College Kent State University
Turned professional 2000
Former tour(s) PGA Tour (joined 2003)
European Tour
Professional wins 4
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour 4
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament T35: 2009
U.S. Open T14: 2010
The Open Championship Won: 2003
PGA Championship T2: 2008
Achievements and awards
PGA Tour
Rookie of the Year

Ben Clifford Curtis (born May 26, 1977) is an American professional golfer on the PGA Tour, best known for winning the 2003 Open Championship.

Early career

Curtis was born in Columbus, Ohio and grew up in Ostrander. His family runs the Mill Creek Golf Club, also in Ostrander. Curtis is a graduate of Buckeye Valley High School and Kent State University, where he was a star on the golf team and earned a bachelor's degree in recreation management in 2000.[1]

As an amateur, Curtis found much success, winning the Ohio Amateur in 1999 and 2000 (joining professional golfers John Cook and Arnold Palmer as the only men to win the Ohio Amateur in consecutive years), and also the Players Amateur in 2000.

Professional career

Curtis turned professional in 2000, originally playing on the Hooters Tour without any success. At the end of 2002, he finished in a tie for 26th at that year's Q-School, earning his PGA Tour card for the following year, becoming one of the few players to completely skip the Nationwide Tour. His first year on tour began unspectacularly as he made a fair amount of cuts, but had no finishes in the top 25, until a tie for 13th at the Western Open on July 6, which qualified him for the British Open in England less than two weeks later.

2003 Open Championship win

Curtis entered the The Open Championship at Royal St George's in 2003 as a 300–1 outsider, defying the odds to win the tournament.

After an opening round 72 (+1), he shot a second round 72 to pull into a seven-way tie for fourth. A third round 70 put Curtis in a five-way tie for third, two strokes behind leader Thomas Bjørn and one stroke behind second-place Davis Love III. While Bjørn shot a final round 72, Curtis fired a 69 to finish at −1, one stroke ahead of Bjørn and Vijay Singh.

The 2003 Open Championship was Curtis' first appearance in a major. He became the first golfer since Francis Ouimet in the 1913 U.S. Open to win his major championship debut, later accomplished by Keegan Bradley in the 2011 PGA Championship. After his victory, Curtis jumped from 396th in the world rankings to 35th, the highest jump for any player. This victory and a solid first season on the PGA Tour led to Curtis being named the 2003 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year. Curtis was the lowest-ranked player to win a major since official world rankings were first calculated.

Further success


Curtis' Open Championship victory gave him a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour and a 10-year exemption on the European Tour, and he played events on both tours in 2004. However, he did not experience immediate success, missing many cuts and only recording one top-10 finish on the PGA Tour. He missed even more cuts in 2005 and only had two top-10 finishes.

In 2006, his results improved as he made the cut much more consistently and recorded two wins, the Booz Allen Classic and the 84 Lumber Classic. His consistent form continued into 2007 and he tied for 8th place at that year's Open Championship in Carnoustie, his best result in a major since winning the tournament.


2008 was Curtis' most consistent season, as he recorded five top-10 finishes and missed only four cuts. He bettered his Open Championship result from the previous year by finishing in a tie for 7th at Royal Birkdale and followed it up a month later by finishing tied for 2nd place in the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. This second-place finish qualified him for the 2008 Ryder Cup, his first appearance in the event.

This consistent form continued into 2009, with only three missed cuts in 18 PGA Tour events. However, Curtis managed only one top-20 finish and ended the year outside the top 100 in the money list. However, he did achieve two top-10 finishes on the European Tour. At the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry, Curtis shot a 65 to tie for second after the first round, but a second round 80 meant that he missed the cut by one shot.


In 2010, Curtis missed only eight cuts in 24 events, but achieved only one top-10 finish and he ended outside the top 100 on the money list for a second consecutive year. A rough 2011 season saw Curtis finish 149th on the PGA Tour money list after making 10 cuts in 23 events, leaving him partially exempt for the 2012 PGA Tour season. For the start of the 2012 season, he split his time between the European Tour and PGA Tour, taking advantage of his European Tour exemption and attempting to qualify for the Race to Dubai.

In April 2012, Curtis won the Valero Texas Open for his fourth PGA Tour victory, ending a six-year winless drought. Curtis held a one-shot lead entering the 71st hole and made a 22-foot putt for par to maintain his lead. He went on to birdie the last hole, sinking a 12-foot birdie putt for a two-stroke victory over Matt Every and John Huh. With the win, Curtis regained full exemption status on the PGA Tour through 2014. Curtis jumped from 200th to 28th in the FedEx Cup standings and moved up over 100 places in the world rankings to 156th.

Curtis followed up his win at the Valero Texas Open with three straight top-15 finishes (tied for 13th at the Zurich Classic, tied for 5th at the Wells Fargo Classic, and tied for 2nd at The Players Championship). This moved him into the top 75 of the Official World Golf Ranking. His career high ranking is 24th. He also finished tied for 11th in the PGA Championship, his best finish in a major championship in four years.


In 2013 Curtis played in 20 PGA Tour events, making the cut in 10 with three top-25 finishes. His 2014 season netted him one top 10 and ten missed cuts in 24 starts to finish 131st in the FedEx Cup, leaving him partially exempt for the 2014–15 season.

Personal life

Curtis, his wife Candace, and their two children reside in Franklin Township, just north of Kent, Ohio after previously living in neighboring Stow.[2] In 2013, Ben and Candace started the Ben Curtis Family Foundation to benefit needy children in the Kent area.[1]

Amateur wins

Professional wins (4)

PGA Tour wins (4)

Major championship (1)
Other PGA Tour (3)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin
of victory
1 Jul 20, 2003 The Open Championship 72-72-70-69=283 −1 1 stroke Denmark Thomas Bjørn, Fiji Vijay Singh
2 Jun 27, 2006 Booz Allen Classic 62-65-67-70=264 −20 5 strokes United States Billy Andrade, Republic of Ireland Pádraig Harrington,
Australia Nick O'Hern, United States Steve Stricker
3 Sep 17, 2006 84 Lumber Classic 66-69-69-70=274 −14 2 strokes United States Charles Howell III
4 Apr 22, 2012 Valero Texas Open 67-67-73-72=279 −9 2 strokes United States Matt Every, United States John Huh

Major championships

Wins (1)

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runners-up
2003 The Open Championship 2 shot deficit −1 (72-72-70-69=283) 1 stroke Denmark Thomas Bjørn, Fiji Vijay Singh

Results timeline

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
U.S. Open DNP 30 CUT 57 T45 CUT 57 T14 DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
The Open Championship 1 CUT CUT CUT T8 T7 CUT CUT CUT CUT T64 CUT CUT
PGA Championship CUT CUT T34 T60 CUT T2 T24 CUT DNP T11 T66 DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10.


Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 2
U.S. Open 0 0 0 0 0 1 7 5
The Open Championship 1 0 0 1 3 3 13 4
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 1 3 10 6
Totals 1 1 0 2 4 7 38 17
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 4 (2008 Open Championship – 2009 U.S. Open)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 2 (2008 Open Championship – 2008 PGA)

Results in World Golf Championship events

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Accenture Match Play Championship DNP R32 DNP DNP DNP DNP
CA Championship T30 DNP DNP DNP T58 DNP
Bridgestone Invitational T66 DNP DNP T42 80 DNP
Tournament 2009 2010
Accenture Match Play Championship R64 DNP
CA Championship T28 DNP
Bridgestone Invitational T64 T39
HSBC Champions DNP DNP

DNP = Did not play
QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Yellow background for top-10.
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

U.S. national team appearances



See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 "PGA Tour profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved April 15, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Carducci, David (July 10, 2011). "Kent State Around the Beat". Record-Courier. Retrieved July 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links