THE 2003 British Open winner Ben Curtis has broken his US PGA Tour drought with a two stroke win at the 2012 Valero Texas Open.
It was an emotional win for the 34 year old American who hadn’t tasted victory on the tour since 2006 and had fallen to the point where he only had conditional status.
The Texas event at the TPC San Antonio was only his fourth start of the year and coming down the stretch it was a crowded leaderboard with a number of golfers in contention.
Curtis (72) finished with a flourish, holing a birdie putt on the 18th to end a tense back nine stoush with joint runners-up Matt Every (71) and John Huh (69).
“It’s been a tough couple years just fighting through it,” Curtis said after finishing at 9-under.
It was his fourth tour win and big in his mind was not just the US$1,116,000 winner’s cheque but the two-year Tour exemption which will mean no more waiting by the phone to hear if he has a start.
“You think you’re just staying positive and not worried about it, but I think deep down, you realize all the hard work you put in that, you know, finally paid off,” Curtis said.
Nathan Green (72) was the best-placed Australian finishing nine shots behind the leader on even while Matt Jones (72) was a further two back.
Greg Chalmers went into the final round tied for sixth place but had a shocker, six bogeys giving him a 78 and a tie for 35th spot on 3-over.
Stuart Appleby, who lead the Aussie contingent after the first round, missed the cut.
The US PGA Tour travels to Louisiana this week for the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where the defending champion is one Bubba Watson, having his first hit out since winning the Masters.