Had never played in a major or on a links course before the 2003 Open at Royal St George's.
Curtis, part of America's winning side at the 2000 Eisenhower Trophy world amateur team championship, was ranked 396th in the world, but posted a one under par total and triumphed by one after Thomas Bjorn dropped four shots in the last four holes.
It made him the first player to win on his major debut since Francis Ouimet at the 1913 US Open (Keegan Bradley then achieved the same feat at the 2011 PGA Championship) and the lowest-ranked player to taste major victory since the rankings were introduced in 1986.
Had to wait nearly three years for his next tournament success, but then came joint second to Padraig Harrington in the 2008 PGA Championship and a month later was on America's successful Ryder Cup side at Valhalla, where he beat Lee Westwood in the concluding singles.
Posted top eight finishes in The Open in 2007 and 2008 (both won by Harrington) and ended six years without a victory at the 2012 Texas Open, but has since turned to teaching the game. He last played in The Open in 2016.