Ben Curtis
Personal information
Full nameBen Clifford Curtis
Born (1977-05-26) May 26, 1977 (age 43)
Columbus, Ohio
Height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight175 lb (79 kg; 12.5 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceKent, Ohio
SpouseCandace Curtis
ChildrenLiam, Addison
CollegeKent State University
Turned professional2000
Former tour(s)PGA Tour (joined 2003)
European Tour Tour
Professional wins4
Highest ranking24 (November 2, 2008)[1]
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour4
European Tour1
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters TournamentT35: 2009
PGA ChampionshipT2: 2008
U.S. OpenT14: 2010
The Open ChampionshipWon: 2003
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.

In January 2018, Curtis told Golf Digest that he has stopped playing golf competitively, opting to teach instead.[2]

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.[3]

As an amateur, Curtis found much success, winning the Ohio Amateur in 1999 and 2000 (joining professional golfers John Cook, Arnold Palmer and Frank Stranahan 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 Open Championship in England less than two weeks later.

2003 Open Championship win

Curtis entered the 2003 Open Championship at Royal St George's 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. 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.[4]

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.


Curtis 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.

For 2009, Curtis missed 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. 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 2015 season. In 2015 Curtis played a partial schedule on the PGA Tour with little success. He played 14 events and only made the cut three times, with his best finish a tie for 29th at the Sanderson Farms Championship. With a finish well outside 150th, Curtis played the 2015–16 season with only past champion status. He only played five events during the 2016 season, missing the cut in all but one tournament.[5]

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.[6] In 2013, Ben and Candace started the Ben Curtis Family Foundation to benefit needy children in the Kent area.[3]

Amateur wins

Professional wins (4)

PGA Tour wins (4)

Major championships (1)
Other PGA Tour (3)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
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

European Tour wins (1)

Major championships (1)
Other European Tour (0)
No. Date Tournament Winning score To par Margin of
1 Jul 20, 2003 The Open Championship 72-72-70-69=283 −1 1 stroke Denmark Thomas Bjørn, Fiji Vijay Singh

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
Masters Tournament CUT CUT T39 CUT CUT T35
U.S. Open 30 CUT 57 T45 CUT 57
The Open Championship 1 CUT CUT CUT T8 T7 CUT
PGA Championship CUT CUT T34 T60 CUT T2 T24
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Masters Tournament CUT CUT
U.S. Open T14
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT T64 CUT CUT CUT
PGA Championship CUT T11 T66
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place


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 14 4
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 1 3 10 6
Totals 1 1 0 2 4 7 39 17

Results in The Players Championship

Tournament 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
The Players Championship CUT CUT CUT CUT T42 T22 T66 T50 T2 T75
  Top 10

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

Results in World Golf Championships

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
Match Play R32 R64
Championship T30 T58 T28
Invitational T66 T42 80 T64 T39
  Did not play

QF, R16, R32, R64 = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" = tied
Note that the HSBC Champions did not become a WGC event until 2009.

U.S. national team appearances



See also


  1. ^ "Week 44 2008 Ending 2 Nov 2008" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  2. ^ Shedloski, Dave (January 19, 2018). "Golf has a new place in Ben Curtis' life". Golf Digest. Retrieved September 10, 2018. 'Oh, I’ve definitely had enough. I'm not playing anymore,' Curtis said by phone from his home in snowy Stow, Ohio.
  3. ^ a b "PGA Tour profile". PGA Tour. Retrieved April 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Harig, Bob (July 12, 2011). "Ben Curtis' title the upset of all upsets". ESPN.
  5. ^ "Ben Curtis". PGA Tour. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  6. ^ Carducci, David (July 10, 2011). "Kent State Around the Beat". Record-Courier. Retrieved July 10, 2011.