BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Ben Curtis plopped in a chair, sighed and had a question before one was asked of him.
“Anybody got a pillow?” he joked Sunday.
Well, he might not have been kidding.
Curtis had to play 36 holes in the PGA Championship because thunderstorms suspended play Saturday before he teed off, forcing him to begin his third round at 7:30 a.m. Twelve hours later he came up short of winning a second major.
His 68-71 finish put him at 1-under 279 at Oakland Hills, tying Sergio Garcia for second place, two shots behind Padraig Harrington.
The strong showing earned him one of the automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Quite a consolation.
“It’s almost a victory in itself,” Curtis said.
The 2003 British Open champion had a one-shot lead through 54 holes, built a three-stroke cushion after birdieing the first hole and got to 4 under with a birdie at No. 6.
But Curtis’ shot at proving he’s not a one-major wonder slipped away with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch starting at No. 8.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Curtis acknowledged he simply got tired and hit a wall at the turn.
“Especially with the shape I’m in,” he said.
“Ben was playing well,” Garcia said. “I could see that he was hanging in there nicely and he had a good start and he hung on tough.
“I wasn’t only focused about Padraig. I thought that Ben had a realistic shot at it, too. And he was 2, 3, 4 under there the whole day. Unfortunately, he made a couple bogeys coming in like I did, but it was a three-man race and Padraig came up on top.”
After birdieing 12 and 13, Curtis cost himself a chance to win with bogeys at 15 and 17. But the aw-shucks guy from a small town in Ohio seemed to have a good perspective on his strong performance.
“At the beginning of the week, every player in here would have said if anybody was under par, they would take it,” Curtis said. “You have to look at the big picture.”
Scenes from golf’s final major, taking place at Oakland Hills Country Club in Bloomfield Township, Mich.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.