Ryder Cup prompts KSU golf alum’s gift
The PGA of America will be giving away $2.6 million in honor of the Ryder Cup that begins today, and thanks to Ben Curtis, Kent State alumnus and Ryder Cup rookie, Kent State will be receiving $90,000.
“It’s a magnificent gift,” Laing Kennedy, Kent State director of athletics said.
Curtis graduated from Kent State in 2000, and was first-team All Mid-American Conference during all four of his years on the Kent State team. He is one of three golfers, including Arnold Palmer, to win the Ohio Amateur Championship two years in a row, having won it in 1999 and 2000.
Curtis shocked the world when he won the British Open in 2003 as a rookie and is now well-known in the professional golf world. He will join 11 other golfers to represent the United States in the 37th Ryder Cup, one of golf’s most important events.
“The Ryder Cup is like the Olympics of the golf world,” said Herb Page, Kent State director of golf.
Kennedy said that upon approval from the PGA of America, the money will be given to the golf scholarship program.
“The money will be used for continuing the excellence of Kent State golf,” Kennedy said.
Curtis previously donated $100,000 to help build the Ferrara Golf Training Center. Page calls the center “the house that Ben built.”
Curtis’ contributions go beyond financial give-backs. Kennedy said Curtis brings prestigious recognition to the university by putting Kent State on the lips of sports commentators everywhere.
“You can’t purchase that kind of branding,” Kennedy said.
Contact sports reporter Brittany Tatgenhorst at [email protected]