Stephen Curry Shoots 74 on Thursday at Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic

Golden State Warriors NBA basketball player Stephen Curry reacts after making a putt to save par on the 18th green during the Tour's Ellie Mae Classic golf tournament Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Hayward, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Steph Curry took time out of his NBA offseason to make his professional golfing debut on Thursday, participating at the Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic on a sponsor exemption.

He didn’t disappoint, playing a solid opening round and finishing with a respectable 4-over 74 on the afternoon, per the Tour:

Justin Ray of the Golf Channel provided his final stats:

Things didn’t start well for Curry. Starting on the back nine, he hit his drive at the No. 10 into the cupholder of a golf cart to the left of the course, per Michael Collins of He recovered nicely, however, bogeying the hole.

You can see his drive below:

He would then par his next two holes before consecutive bogeys on Nos. 13 and 14.

But that would set up his first professional birdie on No. 15, which included an excellent approach: 

And then Curry found his groove. He’d finish with pars on his next three holes, leaving him at 2-over heading into his back nine.

At No. 1 he continued his streak of pars but bogeyed No. 2. Things would get worse at No. 5, as the Golden State Warriors point guard double-bogeyed the hole.

But he again recovered with birdies on Nos. 6 and 8. Marcus Thompson of The Athletic shared his strong putt at No. 6: 

Curry also had a bit of fun after landing that birdie, per Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle

He’d par the next two holes before missing a short putt for par on the ninth, finishing with his 74.

For Curry, however, the entire experience was exhilarating.

“As soon as he said my name on the first tee, I could barely catch my breath,” he said, per Thompson.

He was also pleased with his performance.

“If you told me I’d shoot a 74 going into my first round, I’d take that all day, everyday,” he added, per the Tour. “Pretty happy with it. Obviously as a competitor you can always play better, so hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”

He certainly impressed PGA player Steve Wheatcroft: 

As for why the tournament might offer an NBA player an exemption, Jason Sobel of ESPN cleared that up with a bit of common sense: 

Ryan Lavner of the Golf Channel concurred: 

But to Curry’s credit, he was hardly a sideshow on the course. While he’s 10 strokes off the lead—Brandon Harkins sat atop the leaderboard at the time of publication after shooting a 64—nobody would have expected Curry to compete with the tournament’s top players.

Instead, the intrigue was whether he could hold his own. On Thursday, at least, he did.


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