If the years 2004 and 2005 were ones to forget for American Ben Curtis, 2006 can now be ranked alongside his breakthrough year of 2003 as one to remember. The 29 year-old suffered an alarming loss of form after unexpectedly bursting onto the scene by winning the 2003 Open, but adding the 84 Lumber Classic on Sunday to the Booz Allen Classic he secured in June means that his career is finally back on track.
The doubters were silenced a little more after his final round of 70 was enough to finish two strokes clear of compatriot Charles Howell III at -14, with fellow American Brett Quigley a stroke further adrift in third on -11.
Curtis (pictured) began the day in a tie for the lead but when he bogeyed the ninth hole to slip off the top of the leaderboard his supporters feared the worst. However, birdies at the 12th, 15th and 16th put him two strokes clear of the field and even a dropped stroke on the 17th could not stop him from securing the title.
“It feels great,” said Curtis, who was joined in his celebrations on the 18th green by his pregnant wife.
“We all work so hard and put in lots of hours, so it’s nice to play solid sometimes and have some good weeks.”