SAN ANTONIO – Ben Curtis won the Texas Open on Sunday for his first PGA Tour title since 2006, holding off Matt Every and John Huh in a tense back-nine finish for a two-stroke victory.
Curtis birdied the par-5 18th for an even-par 72 and 9-under total. It was a redeeming and emotional win for the 2003 British Open winner whose long slump relegated him to status so low that the victory came in only the fourth PGA Tour event that he managed to get into this year.
Curtis calmly hugged his caddie after coolly sinking the clinching 12-footer, but then fought back tears just moments later while being interviewed.
Its been a tough couple years just fighting through it, Curtis said softly and haltingly, after pausing for a few seconds to compose himself.
Every had a 71 and lost a chance at his first tour win with a shaky putter. Huh roared back with a 69, but the Mayakoba Classic winner fell just short of completing what would have been a remarkable comeback.
Huh nearly withdrew Thursday when he plunged to 5 over through only his first three holes and finished with a 77. But he rebounded with rounds of 68 and 67 to give Curtis and Every another player to worry about Sunday.
I didnt really expect too much, final round, Huh said.
While Huhs first round was ultimately too big of a hole to overcome, Every couldnt close the deal after starting the tournament with a course-record 63. Four blown putts from 9 feet or closer – including a 6-footer for birdie – kept Every a stroke back until Curtis birdied No. 18.
CHAMPIONS: In Savannah, Ga, David Frost and Michael Allen shot a better-ball 10-under 62 for a 29-under 187 and a one-stroke victory over John Cook and Joey Sindelar in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf championship.
Three teams tied for third at 27 under: Andy Bean and Chien Soon Lu (62), Jeff Sluman and Brad Faxon (63), and Tom Purtzer and Brad Bryant (64).
EUROPEAN: In Tianjin, China, Branden Grace won the China Open for his third European Tour victory of the year, closing with a 3-under 69 to hold off 2011 winner Nicolas Colsaerts by three strokes.
The 23-year-old Grace, from South Africa, finished at 21-under 267 at Binhai Lake. He won the Joburg Open and Volvo Champions in consecutive weeks in South Africa in January.
Colsaerts, the winner last year at Luxehills, also shot a 69.