Ben Curtis Wins Texas Open for First PGA Tour Title Since 2006

Ben Curtis Wins Texas Open for First PGA Tour Title Since 2006
Ben Curtis plays a tee shot during the final round of the Valero Texas Open at the AT&T Oaks Course in San Antonio, Texas. Photographer: Darren Carroll/Getty Images

Ben Curtis won the Texas Open by two strokes over Matt Every and John Huh for his fourth title on golf’s U.S. PGA Tour and first since 2006.

Curtis shot an even-par 72 during yesterday’s final round at the TPC San Antonio to finish the tournament at 9-under par 279. Every and Huh tied for second place at 7 under.

Prior to the Texas Open, Curtis was 285th in the Official World Golf Ranking and missed the cut for weekend play in two of his three tour events this year and in 13 of 23 in 2011.

“The last couple years I felt like I was so close to playing so many good tournaments and just ended up missing the cut by one or having a bad round here or there,” Curtis, who collected $1.12 million, said at a news conference. “Finally this week, every part of the game together.”

Curtis got his maiden win at the 2003 British Open as a rookie ranked 396th in the world after Thomas Bjorn surrendered a three-shot lead with four holes to play. His other victories before yesterday came at the Booz Allen Classic and 84 Lumber Classic, both in 2006.

Curtis’s worst year on tour since winning the British Open was 2011, when he collected $423,466 in prize money. Between 2003 and last year he had $10.2 million in on-course earnings at an average of $1.13 million a year.

Curtis, who was second at the 2008 U.S. PGA Championship, holed a putt of almost 23 feet (7 meters) for par at the 17th hole to retain his one-shot lead. He then sealed the victory with a birdie on the par-5 18th, becoming the first golfer since Jim Furyk at the 2010 Tour Championship to win on the PGA Tour without breaking par during the final two rounds.

“I love hard golf courses. I love it when par is premium,” said Curtis, who shot 73 and 72 the final two days to follow consecutive rounds of 67. “I just love courses that set-up that way where you got to control your distance not only in the air but also on the ground.”

Every, who began the Texas Open with a course-record 9-under-par 63, had a 71 yesterday, while Huh, a rookie, shot a 69. Kelly Kraft, the U.S. Amateur champion, missed the halfway cut in his first start as a professional.

The tour now moves east for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans at the TPC Louisiana in Avondale from April 26-29.