Ben Curtis claimed his first PGA Tour title in six years, winning the Valero Texas Open at TPC San Antonio by two strokes from fellow Americans Matt Every and John Huh.
It was something of a struggle on Sunday for the 2003 Open champion, but he dug deep to finish with an even par 72 - good enough to hold off the chasing pack. With the victory he picked up a winning cheque for $1,116,000 and, more importantly, a two-year playing exemption. That was the key prize for a man who has lost full playing rights this season.
"It's been a tough couple years just fighting through it," Curtis said. "You think you're just staying positive and not worried about it, but I think deep down, you realize all the hard work you put in that, you know, finally paid off."
Matt Every should have pushed Curtis harder but a poor putting display let him down. Despite starting with a course record 63, Every couldn't keep that form going and a series of missed putts in the final round prevented him rising to the top of the leaderboard.
John Huh finished strongly. He was 14 shots behind Every after his first round of 77. But three rounds in the 60s propelled him into a tie for second.
Defending champion Brendan Steele also finished well. His closing 67 pushed him into a tie for fourth with Bob Estes, Brian Gay and Charlie Wi.
Valero Texas Open TPC San Antonio, Texas 19-22 Apr, purse $6,200,000, par 72
1 Ben Curtis (USA) 67 67 73 72 279 $1,116,000 T2 Matt Every (USA) 63 74 73 71 281 $545,600 T2 John Huh (USA) 77 68 67 69 281 $545,600 T4 Bob Estes (USA) 72 72 70 69 283 $244,125 T4 Brian Gay (USA) 73 69 71 70 283 $244,125 T4 Brendan Steele (USA) 73 74 69 67 283 $244,125 T4 Charlie Wi (Kor) 72 69 71 71 283 $244,125 T8 Hunter Haas (USA) 66 74 77 67 284 $179,800 T8 Ryan Moore (USA) 72 72 71 69 284 $179,800 T8 Cameron Tringale (USA) 72 65 76 71 284 $179,800
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
Where next? European Tour - Branden Grace wins Volvo China Open
Fergus is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and it was concentrated by his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin (also of Golf Monthly)... Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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