Kent, Ohio, officials send thanks to Kent, England, for Curtis support

KENT, Ohio (AP) - Officials in this city where British Open champion Ben Curtis went to college have sent thanks to officials in the English county with the same name for taking care of Curtis (pictured holding the Claret Jug, right) during the tournament.
Kent Mayor John Fender on Thursday said he mailed a thank-you note to the County of Kent and its residents across the Atlantic Ocean. The gesture was on behalf of Kent City Council and residents of the city, Fender said.
Curtis, a recent graduate of Kent State University, won the Claret Jug at Royal Saint Georges in Sandwich, England. The small coastal town is in the southern British county of Kent.
"It was very comforting to know that the residents of Kent County warmly welcomed Ben into their hearts," the letter stated. "We look forward to the day when we may reciprocate such warmth."
Curtis, 26, last Sunday became the first golfer since 1913 to win a major championship on his first try.
He grew up in Ostrander and recently bought a home in Stow, about five miles west of Kent.
But Fender said Kent -- the one in Ohio -- is proud to claim Curtis, who he called the city's favorite son. The city plans a celebration to honor the golf champion once life settles for the soon-to-be married Curtis.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)