Curtis hangs on for 1st win since '06|
San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) - Ben Curtis only needed an even-par 72 in
the final round Sunday to get his first win in almost six years at the Texas
Curtis, who broke on to the golf stage with his long-shot victory at the 2003
British Open, finished at nine-under 279 and won by two strokes at the TPC San
Sunday's victory was Curtis' first since the 2006 84 Lumber Classic. He also
won the Booz Allen Classic that year and now neither of those tournaments
"Today, there were so many things that could've went wrong," Curtis said in a
televised interview. "Luckily I stuck with it and hung on."
Matt Every shot a one-under 71 on Sunday and tied for second with 21-year-old
tour rookie John Huh, who carded a three-under 69 in the final round. The pair
came in at seven-under 281.
Every had plenty of chances on the back nine, but ran cold with the flat
stick. Huh could've joined Hunter Mahan as the multiple winners on tour this
year after he captured the Mayakoba Golf Classic.
Last year's winner Brendan Steele (67), 1994 champion Bob Estes (69), Brian
Gay (70) and Charlie Wi (71) shared fourth place at five-under par.
Curtis began the final round armed with a three-shot lead, but Every caught
Every bogeyed the first, but rattled off four birdies in his next five holes
to tie Curtis for the lead. Curtis bogeyed the fourth, but rolled in a 25-foot
birdie putt at the fifth.
At the seventh, Curtis sank a five-footer birdie to reclaim the lead at 10-
under par. After pars around the turn, both Curtis and Every bogeyed the 11th
to keep Curtis in front.
He didn't stay there long.
Curtis missed the 12th green left and pitched to seven feet. His par putt
stayed above ground and Curtis and Every shared the lead at eight-under par.
For Every, the back nine represented several lost opportunities.
He had at least four chances from inside 10 feet, but missed them all. Every
missed another 10-footer at 15, this time for par, giving Curtis first on his
Huh, who played in the final threesome with Curtis and Every on Sunday, inched
up the leaderboard with birdies at 10, 11 and 14. He was tied for second with
Every at seven-under, just one behind Curtis.
At the par-three 16th, Every knocked his tee ball inside five feet. He had a
chance to tie for the lead, but his birdie try never even touched the hole.
It appeared that Curtis was going to give one back at the 17th. With just a
wedge in his hand, Curtis hit a poor second that ran through the back of the
green. His chip didn't stop until he hit the fringe in the front of the green
and Curtis had 22 feet for par.
He poured in the long save to stay one shot clear with the par-five, although
unreachable in two, 18th.
"They say, 'it's all four on the scorecard,'" joked Curtis. "That was a huge
All three laid up and neither Every, nor Huh, put any pressure on Curtis.
Every, who hit a terrible drive on the hole, left himself with 50 feet for par
and Huh missed the green.
Curtis knocked his third to 12 feet, and waited as both players made their
routine pars. He rolled in the birdie effort to pad his margin of victory.
Curtis waited six years for another victory and lately, it's been a struggle.
He didn't record a single top 10 last year, and only teed it up in three
events prior to this week. Two were played opposite WGC events and the other
was the Houston Open. He missed the cut in two of the three.
"You always have to believe, but you never know," Curtis said on TV. "The last
couple of years have been tough. I haven't putted the way I wanted to. I've
just been working hard, hoping things would pay off."
Hunter Haas (67), Ryan Moore (69) and Cameron Tringale (71) shared eighth at
NOTES: Curtis pocketed $1,116,000 for the victory...If Curtis hadn't birdied
the last for his even-par round, he would've become the first player since Jim
Furyk at the 2010 Tour Championship to post over-par rounds for his last two
rounds, and still win...Amateur Jordan Spieth had a three-over 75 Sunday and
tied for 41st at four-over par...The PGA Tour heads to Louisiana next week for
the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where Masters champion Bubba Watson
captured the title in 2011.
04/22 19:02:40 ET