Monday, April 23, 2012

The Limerick Summary: 2012 Valero Texas Open

Winner: Ben Curtis

Around the wider world of golf: Ai Miyazato returned to the LPGA's winner's circle with a win at the inaugural LPGA LOTTE Championship; Lee Westwood defended his title at the Asian Tour's CIMB Niaga Indonesian Masters; Michael Allen and David Frost won the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf on the Champions Tour; Branden Grace got his 3rd win in 2012 (this is his rookie season, folks!) at the Volvo China Open on the European Tour; and Kaori Ohe won the Fujisankei Ladies Classic. (bangkokbobby has the wrap-up. Seems the Constructivist is off somewhere having a party to celebrate Ai's victory. ;-)

Ben Curtis hoists his new trophy

It's been an up-and-down career for Ben Curtis. He popped up out of nowhere to win the 2003 Open Championship, then pretty much dropped out of sight until 2006. He won twice on the PGA Tour that year... then dropped out of sight again. He had been nearly invisible for 6 years, even losing his Tour card and having to skip back and forth across the Atlantic. See, he still has a 10-year exemption on the ET for his Open win (good till next year). He didn't want to stay over there -- his family lives in Stow OH, and his kids are still pretty young -- but he had to make a living.

That won't be a problem any longer. With his win at the Texas Open this week he'll be spending a lot of time at home with the kids.

Ben blamed it on his putting. Perhaps it was -- he's clearly 2nd on Tour in the "Strokes Gained - Putting" stat this year. But as we say down here in the South, "whatever it was, it ain't no more."

He certainly earned everything he got Sunday. Matt Every, another Big Break alumni proving he really does have some game, and rookie-already-winner John Huh gave Ben all he could handle. Huh came back from +9 on his front 9 Thursday to grab a piece of 2nd place -- no small accomplishment -- and Every came from a course record 63 that first round and what turned out to be a bad draw to grab the other piece. It was all up in the air until the very last hole, when Curtis followed-up a miracle par save on 17 with a birdie on 18.

Ironically, all three had reason to celebrate. Huh's confidence jumped to a whole new level, while Every not only gained confidence but locked up his Tour card for next year. And Ben? He won a vacation from airport security.

So this week's Limerick Summary salutes the weary world traveler who can finally head home and rest those new Texas Open boots of his for a spell:
On putting Ben could not depend.
The money list he did descend
And wound up in Europe.
Now with his card sure, up
In Stow time with family he'll spend.
The photo came from the front page at PGATOUR.com.

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