Who is Ben Curtis

By Mercer BaggsJuly 20, 2003, 4:00 pm
SANDWICH, England -- So, who is Ben Curtis? Other than your reigning Open champion. Its not often you know so little about a man who has won something so big.
 
Curtis is a 26-year-old PGA Tour rookie who earned his way to the big leagues by tying for 26th place, in his third attempt, in last years Qualifying Tournament.
 
Born May 26, 1977, in Ostrander, Ohio, just outside of Columbus, Curtis learned the game on a the Mill Creek Golf Course, built by his grandfather, who died five months ago.
 
He started playing at the age of three.
 
He played on the developmental Hooters Tour the last two years, winning once and finishing 10th on the money list in 2002.
 
A semifinalist in the 1999 U.S. Amateur, he was a two-time Ohio state amateur champion. He joined Arnold Palmer and John Cook as the only person to win back-to-back titles, doing so in 1999 and 2000.
 
Formerly the No. 1-ranked amateur by Golfweek, the second-team All-America selection at Kent State turned professional in 2000.
 
He had played in only two PGA Tour events prior to this season, missing one cut and tying for 46th in the 2001 B.C. Open.
 
Curtis entered the British Open having made eight cuts in 13 starts, and ranked 396th in the world. But it was his tie for 13th at the Western Open, where the top eight finishers not otherwise exempt into the seasons third major were offered an invitation, which punched his ticket to Royal St. Georges.
 
He had earned just a shade under $200,000 before pocketing this check of roughly $1.1 million.
 
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