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The Tour Report

April 20 2012

3:35 PM

Confidence, opportunity keys for Curtis

Interview: Ben Curtis

Following his second-round 67, Ben Curtis talks about his play in the 2012 Valero Texas Open with Fred Albers from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

A change in his grip and some extra practice on the greens has Ben Curtis rolling at the Valero Texas Open. The three-time TOUR winner tweaked his grip and put in the extra practice following a dismal putting effort at the Shell Houston Open in late March. That dropped his Strokes Gained - Putting Rank to No. 183 – which would be just his second time outside the top 60 since 2007. He’s taken just 52 putts in two rounds on TPC San Antonio’s difficult greens and, after a pair of bogey-free 5-under 67s, he finds himself leading in the clubhouse after Friday's early wave. “When you have confidence with the putter you're not afraid to hit it to 30 feet and knowing the worse case you're going to walk off with a par,” Curtis said. “With the greens like they are here, you hit it on the right line with good speed they're going to go in because they roll so true. They're really good surfaces to putt on.” The 2003 British Open Champion last won on TOUR in 2006 and hasn’t posted a top-10 finish since the 2010 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. He’s been short on chances in 2012 thus far. Curtis is making just his fourth TOUR start of the season following a 149th-place standing on last year’s money list -- his worst mark since joining the PGA TOUR in 2003. With his conditional status, Curtis is facing an unusual schedule setup. “Every other year (I’ve) played -- since '03, you know, pretty much had it laid out before the year started,” he said. “But this year, you know, the status that I have, I went to Europe for three weeks early in the year, played over there and then just tried to get in some events over here, you know. Hopefully get in a few more after this week.” Continued strong play through the weekend will be a step in the right direction toward expanding upon that schedule and gaining a little more job security in 2012.