American Indian Golfer Jeff Curl Impresses at U.S. Open Golf Championship
Jeff Curl, Wintu Tribe of Northern California, made the cut at the U.S. Open golf championship and competed for the title this past weekend. Curl, who made his PGA Tour debut earlier this year at the Puerto Rico Open, has impressed in “Golf’s Greatest Test.”
Firm and fast conditions made for difficult play at the Olympic Golf Club in San Francisco. The cutline was set at eight over par, and Curl, who carded an opening round 73 on Thursday followed with a 75 on Friday for a total of 148, finished on the line. Only the top 60 players, including ties, qualify to play the final two rounds.
On Saturday and Sunday, Curl shot a 71 and 75 respectively, ending the tournament at plus 14, tied for 56th. While that might not sound impressive to non-golf fans, making the cut at arguably the hardest tournament, year in year out, in America is a huge step in the right direction for the young man.
Some notable players failing to make the cut this past weekend included Rory McIlroy, the defending U.S. Open champion, Bubba Watson, this year’s Masters winner, and Luke Donald, the world’s No. 1 player. A fellow aboriginal player, Michael Campbell, Maori, also missed the cut. Campbell won the 2005 U.S. Open.
Tiger Woods, who claims Native American ancestry, was tied for the overall lead with Jim Furyk and David Toms at one under par heading into the weekend. Ultimately, American Webb Simpson took home the trophy, shooting plus one for the tournament.
Jeff Curl’s father, Rod Curl, is known for his incredible performance at the 1974 Colonial National Invitational. At that tournament, Rod won, beating a golfer by the name of Jack Nicklaus by one stroke.
We’ll be keeping an eye on his son Jeff as the golf season continues. He’s got a bright future in the sport.