Jon Curran has certainly arrived in 2016, and next year he’ll really be going places. His best golf is yet to come.
The Hopkinton, Mass, native completed his second year on the PGA TOUR and finished 66th in the FedExCup standings and 99th in the World Golf Rankings, winning $1,902,481 in prize money. He lost in a two-hole playoff at The Memorial to William McGirt, finished in the top 10 two other times, and made 19 of 30 cuts.
Jon won three Web.com events in 2014 and finished 12th to earn his card, and in his first year on TOUR, he finished 113th in the FedExCup and earned $1,049,549.
As a junior at Hopkinton High, Jon was the #1 player on The Hillers golf team that won the HS State Championship by more than 20 shots. The #2 player was a senior transfer from Woodstock CC, Vermont—Keegan Bradley—who became great friends with Jon then and now, along with Brendan Steele, the three spend much of their time on TOUR together.
Jon was the Mass Golf Association Junior POY from 2002-04 and was All-SEC and an All-American at Vanderbilt in 2008-09. He turned pro in 2009 after graduation.
A member of the Cleveland/Srixon staff, Jon is slight in stature at 5’ 9” and 165 pounds. His TOUR driving average is only 271 yards, but Keegan and Brendan call him “Jonny Wedge” for his incredibly accurate short game. Jon teamed with Keegan again this summer to win their second consecutive title at the CVS Health Charity Classic at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, defeating Bill Haas and host Billy Andrade in a playoff.
I had the chance to chat with Jon at Keegan’s 5th Annual Charity Golf Classic at Woodstock CC the Monday before the DBC.
NEGM: How did you get into golf in the first place?
JC: My dad was a member of Framingham Country Club in Massachusetts. We’d go to the driving range, where I would hang out with him. I would chip and putt and play around in the sand trap. I loved it, and the game stuck with me. I was just a little kid, around four, when I picked up my first club.
NEGM: What will you always remember about your high school championship with Keegan?
JC: The fact that he won the individual! He never has let me live that down. But we had an unbelievable team. All six of us could play, and we were all fully vested in the game—a real golf crew. Certainly a great memory.
NEGM: Was Vanderbilt a good experience for you in education and in golf?
JC: Fantastic! And Nashville was a great city. Vanderbilt was a very challenging school academically. Playing golf on the team for all four years and graduating from there in four years [2009 with a degree in Human and Organizational Development] was a real accomplishment, believe me. Most of my peers were very smart, and they were there for the education. I was there to play golf.
NEGM: Your playoff with William McGirt at The Memorial must have got the adrenaline flowing.
JC: Yes, it was wild! Now I’ve been in contention coming down the stretch on Sunday before, but in that playoff, with just him and me on the golf course and with everybody standing around that 18th green watching only the two of us, it was surreal. It was cool.
NEGM: What else have you learned this year about your ability to play with the “Big Boys”?
JC: I’ve learned that I can play at that level and that I can compete effectively with the talent I have and the game I have developed. I am able to trust myself and trust my ability to contend on the TOUR. I am not searching for some key recipe or for some different swing thought, and I hope that I don’t have to.
NEGM: What are your short-term goals for the rest of this year?
JC: Short term I have really been grinding to get into the top 70 in the FedExCup for the semi-finals at the BMW Championship. My final round yesterday [76 (+5) at Bethpage in The Barclays] kind of put me behind the eight ball a little bit, but I still have a great chance of getting there if I play well in the Deutsche Bank [T-67] this week. And, of course, I’d like to get to East Lake, but I have to get to the BMW first. [Jon finished T47 at the BMW.]
And, short term, I’ll be playing in the Fall Series. They are great events. I know a lot of the guys don’t take them seriously, but they are really legit, awesome courses with full FedExCup points and purses. The Fall Series is a great opportunity for me to get out ahead of the game for the year.
NEGM: What long-term goals have you set for yourself?
JC: You know, I really haven’t set any goals long term, and here’s why. My immediate goals should be attainable, but I have learned in the past that, if I start
thinking too far ahead, that future goal kind of gets in my way. I need to put myself into the comfortable position of just playing my own game week in and week out. So, that would be my long-term goal, I guess! And the results will come.
NEGM: With what charities are you involved?
JC: My sister Jessica, my mother, and I are involved with the New England Melanoma Foundation. My father passed away from melanoma cancer about four years ago, and I plan to host some charity events down the line.
NEGM: Dream Foursome of today? Of any time period?
JC: I’m a big fan of urban art so Shepard Fairey, along with Keegan and Brendan.
My dad, Ben Hogan, and Michael Jordan.
NEGM: What do you enjoy doing most in your free time?
JC: I’ve really been working a lot on artwork. I spend a lot of time painting and drawing. It very much takes my mind off golf and allows me to relax and have some quiet downtime.
(Photography by Vicky MacKay)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?