Believed to be the first to win a professional major championship in his first attempt in any major event when he triumphed in July at the 2003 British Open at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, Kent, England. . .Ranked 396th in the world at the start of the week and only in the field through his tie for 13th place finish in the 100th Western Open on the PGA Tour, Curtis held off the world's best to finish at 1-under-par 283, winning by a stroke over European Tour Members Thomas Björn and Vijay Singh, with World No. 1-ranked Tiger Woods and Davis Love III tied for fourth, another stroke beind. . . Not surprisingly, the win heralded a number of firsts for the record books. He was the first player since Francis Ouimet at the 1913 U.S. Open Championship to win a major in his first attempt. He was also the first player to win the Open Golf Championship on his first start since Tom Watson at Carnoustie in 1975 and the youngest Open winner at 26 years, one month, 24 days, since Tiger Woods won in 2000 at the age of 24 years, six months, and 23 days. Jumped from 396th to 35th in the Official World Golf Rankings, the biggest single leap since the ranking began in 1986. Other memorable day of 2003, came when he married fiancée, Candace, on the Saturday of the WGC - NEC Invitational in his home state of Ohio. . .Was not in the field until his Open triumph but continued with the wedding a couple of hours after his third round finished. Played in the Trophée Lancôme as part of his honeymoon in Paris and reached the semifinals of the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth Club before losing to Björn...A rookie on the PGA Tour after finishing T-26 at the 2002 Qualifying Tournament, Curtis competed on the Hooters Tour in 2001-02 . . .Winner of the Myrtle Beach event in 2002, while finishing 10th on the money list. Biggest thrill in golf was winning the 2000 U.S. Amateur World Team competition in Germany. . . Semifinalist at the 1999 U.S. Amateur. . .Three-time Ohio Amateur champion, including a 15-stroke victory in 2000. . .Formerly the world's No. 1-ranked amateur by GolfWeek before turning professional in 2000. . .An All-America selection at Kent State. . . Became interested in golf through his grandparents, who own a public golf course in Ostrander, Ohio..
1 - British Open
PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
2003 PGA Tour Summary
Tournaments entered - 21; Rounds Played - 69; in money - 13; top -10 Finishes - 1; money $1,434,911 Rank (46th); Best finish: Won at the British Open
Scoring - 71.37 / (124th); Driving Distance - 283.2 / (119th); Driving Accuracy - 67.3% / (84th); GIR - 64.5% / (113th); Putting - 1.795 / (151st); Birdie Average - 3.12 per rd / (183rd) / Total Birdies - 215; Sand Saves - 48.5% / (122nd); All-Around Rank - 1035 / (166th).
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