Ben Curtis

Induction Year: 2021 Sport: Golf

Ben Curtis is best known for winning the 2003 British Open Championship. Prior to the tournament, he was given 300-1 odds of winning the major championship. After sealing the one-stroke win at Royal St. George’s, Curtis leaped from a 396th ranking in the world to 35th, the highest jump of any player in golf history. The 2003 British Open Championship was Curtis’ first major championship appearance. With his victory, he became the first golfer since golf legend Francis Ouimet in 1913 (U.S. Open) to win his first major championship debut.

After the 2003 title, Curtis gained national attention when he appeared on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” hitting wedge shots rooftop to rooftop during the telecast. He visited President George W. Bush at the White House as well. In 2008, Curtis was a member of the victorious USA Ryder Cup team. In the Sunday singles matches Curtis defeated Lee Westwood 2-1 to secure the victory and bring the Cup back to U.S. soil for the first time since 1999.

Curtis graduated from Kent State University where he was a three-time All-American. He was inducted into the Mid-American Hall of Fame in 2012. Additional PGA Tour wins include the Booz Allen Classic and the 84 Lumber Classic (2006) and the Valero Texas Open (2012).

In 2018, Curtis retired from the PGA Tour and launched the Ben Curtis Golf Academy at The Country Club of Hudson (OH). He and his wife, Candace, established the Ben Curtis Family Foundation in 2013 with a mission to end childhood hunger in Portage and Summit counties.