Heading into Sunday’s final round, the question was whether history would repeat itself. Ben Curtis (-9) arrived at the TPC San Antonio on Sunday with a three shot lead over Matt Every (-6) and a five shot lead over John Huh, Seung-Yol Noh and Charlie Wi (-4). But which version of history would it be?
Dating to 2000, eight third-round leaders of the Valero Texas Open have held on for the win, most recently Brendan Steele last year. So far this year on the PGA TOUR, six third-round leaders have converted for victory, most recently Carl Pettersson at last week’s RBC Heritage. But the last time someone held a 54-hole lead at the Valero Texas Open by at least three shots was in 2007 and it wasn’t enough for Jesper Parnevik who lost to Justin Leonard. Aside from Huh (Mayakoba) still a PGA TOUR rookie, no one within five strokes of Curtis has won on the tour. It was his to win or lose on Sunday, meaning he would have to offer some help for anyone other than Every to surpass him.
Back to back bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes by Curtis dropped him to 8 under and into a tie for the lead with Matt Every, who began the day with a bogey but bounced back with birdies on #2, #4, #5 and #6. Rookie John Huh was also in the hunt after birdies on #10, #11 and #14. Every missed an 11-foot par putt on #15 and Curtis regained the outright lead. Curtis made a huge par putt from the front edge of the green on the short par-4 17th to remain at 8 under when it appeared he would fall back into a tie with Every and Huh. On the remaining par-5 18th, Curtis made birdie after Huh and Every failed on their attempts. It has been more than 2,000 days since he last won on TOUR (2006 84 LUMBER Classic) and Curtis was overcome by emotion after his final putt dropped. He finished the week with four bogeys, two double bogeys to go with his 17 birdies. He ranked first in greens in regulation at 68.1% and earned $1,116,000 for his efforts.