Stephen Curry shouldn’t think about quitting his day job just yet, but for one day, he showed he can hang with some of the best golfers in the world.
Shortly after helping to lead the Golden State Warriors to a second NBA title in three seasons, Curry accepted a sponsor’s invitation to play in this week’s Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic. The decision sparked a big debate over whether Curry should take a spot in an actual tournament, but the two-time NBA MVP proved a lot of doubters wrong with an impressive opening round of 74 on Thursday.
Before he teed off in his first round, sportsbooks listed Curry as +900 (A $100 wager would win you $900) to make the cut and -2500 (Risking $2,500 to win $100) to miss the cut. The over/under for his high score for the tournament was set at 79.5 (TPC Stonebrae is a par 70) and for his low score at 76.5. If you bet on the latter, congratulations. Although you might have a gambling problem.
And if you bet on Curry sticking around for the weekend, you’re crazy, but at least you’re not totally out of it. When Curry concluded his round, he was tied for 140th in the field of 156. Not too shabby considering he’s competing against guys who do this for a living.
After a sluggish start of three bogeys in his first five holes — including a yanked opening tee shot that ended up in the cup holder of a golf cart — Curry got going with his first birdie on TPC Stonebrae’s 16th (his sixth hole of the day):
Then a par save on No. 18 (his ninth hole of the day) that produced a first big fist pump:
He made the turn and birdied the Par-5 third thanks to a beautiful pitch to gimme range:
Curry made his lone double bogey of the day two holes later, but birdied the ensuing par 3 (bounceback stats!). He also showed some of that swagger he brings to the basketball court:
Curry closed with a disappointing bogey on the par-5 ninth, but again, he’s a freaking basketball player and he shot 74 in a Web.com Tour event! He even beat one of his playing partners, Sam Ryder, who won two weeks ago on the Web.com Tour, by a stroke.
“If you told me I was going to shoot 74 in my first round, I would take that all day any day,” Curry said.
Not surprisingly, Curry had a huge gallery following him the entire round:
And he had golf fans all around the world captivated — including several PGA Tour pros:
Playing partner Stephen Jaeger said he was impressed with Curry’s game, especially his touch around the greens. He was also happy to get a chance to play in front of so many fans.
“Sam and I are going to be on the PGA Tour next year, so for us, it’s a great experience,” Jaeger said.
Curry has a 2:15 ET tee time for Friday afternoon.
“I want to play better tomorrow,” Curry said. “And now that I’ve gotten the jitters out, hopefully, that will happen.”