Busy Day for Groom Curtis


AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- His final putt as a bachelor dropped for par. Then, Ben Curtis walked off the 18th green Saturday to a serenade rarely heard in the midst of a $6 million World Golf Championship.
'Going to the chapel and I'm, going to get married,' the gallery sang.
And that's about the time the nerves began to set in.
'I'm glad to be done,' Curtis said after 2-over 72 in the NEC Invitational, leaving him in the middle of the pack. 'I'm getting a little nervous now that it's over.'
Curtis had already set the Saturday evening wedding date to Candace Beatty before he threw a wrench in the plans by winning the British Open as a 500-1 long shot, the first player in 90 years to win a major in his first try.
That made him eligible for the NEC Invitational -- played in his hometown, no less -- and Curtis and his fiancee agreed the show should go on.
Both shows, that is.
There are only three World Golf Championships a year.
Weddings are even rarer.
It's not uncommon for a groom to play golf the day of his wedding, but not in a tournament with Tiger Woods and Ernie Els, and not with 30,000 people lining the fairways.
The wedding was scheduled for 5 PM, but the bride and groom decided to push it back by an hour, which was a good thing - Curtis didn't finish until 3:20 PM.
He already was late for the Friday night rehearsal, thanks to a career-best 64 in the opening round that gave him a late afternoon tee time.
He arrived at Firestone on Saturday morning thinking more about matrimony than trying to make up ground on the leaders.
'Once you get out there ... this morning it was on my mind a lot more than it was when I was out there,' Curtis said. 'I was relaxed and just out there having fun. I wasn't trying to worry about it, just play golf.
'Golf is kind of secondary this week.'
At least he finished in style. Curtis received a loud ovation as he walked up the 18th green, and the volume peaked when his 15-footer for par disappeared into the cup.
'Life won't change,' he said. 'It'll just be a certificate.'
After two quick interviews, Curtis headed to the locker room, then had a police escort to the church about 15 miles away in suburban Stow.
Related Links
  • Full-field scores from the WGC-NEC Invitational
  • Full Coverage - WGC-NEC Invitational
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