Open Champ Returns to Action

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Ben Curtis competitive reign as Open champion begins this week in Grand Blanc, Mich. The 26-year-old PGA Tour rookie will compete in the Buick Open, his first event since his shocking victory at Royal St. Georges.
 
Curtis pulled out of last weeks Greater Hartford Open as he tried to get acclimated to being a major champion.
 
He has made countless television appearances, including ones on NBCs Today Show and the Late Show with David Letterman. Media members have flooded his tiny hometown of Ostrander, Ohio to get better insight into one of the most improbable major winners in the games history.
 
Hes barely had time to read the other 131 names on the claret jug, what with all the showing off hes had to do.
 
Now he returns to the comforts of the golf course, where he can at least find a bit of solace inside the ropes.
 
Curtis will be reunited this week with some of the other main ingredients at Sandwich. Vijay Singh, the 1997 Buick Open winner, is in the field, as is 2001 champion Kenny Perry. And, of course, there is the defending champion, one Tiger Woods.
 
Woods won this event by four strokes a year ago over Esteban Toledo, Mark OMeara, Fred Funk and Brian Gay.
 
Woods, who played in Monday nights Battle at The Bridges exhibition, has 10 times successfully defended a title around the world. He is in search of his fifth victory of the season.
 
Last year, Tiger, a Buick spokesperson, won his companys Open the week before the PGA Championship. This year, it will be contested two weeks prior. It will be Woods final tune-up ' he is not scheduled to play in next weeks International ' before the seasons final major.
 
Tony Lema, in 1964 and 65, is the only player to win the Buick Open in back-to-back years. Julius Boros, in 63 and 67, is the only other player to win twice in the 43 years of this event.
 
The 7,127-yard, par-72 Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club will play host for the 26th consecutive occasion.
 
This years purse is $4,000,000; $720,000 will go to the winner.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - Buick Open
  • More PGA Tour Preview Information