In 2003, Ohioan Ben Curtis won the British Open Golf Championship. He had never won a Professional Golf Association (PGA) tournament before the British Open. In fact, Curtis had never finished better than thirteenth in any PGA tournament. He was the only player to score under par at the British Open. This tournament was also the first Major in which he ever participated. Because of this victory, he was voted the 2003 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.
Before turning professional, Curtis played college golf at Kent State University. He was a three-time amateur champion at Kent State. He also learned to play golf on a course that his grandfather had designed. He grew up and still resides in Ostrander, Ohio.