NBA legend Stephen Curry is set to play golf with the pros in the Web.com Tour Ellie Mae Classic. The event takes place between 3rd – 6th August at the TPC Stonebrae in Bay Area, just a short distance from the Golden States Warriors home arena.
Stephen Curry recently won the NBA title for the second time in three years as a guard for the Warriors and is two-time NBA Most Valuable Player. He is the Warriors all-time leader for three-pointers scored and occupies 4/5 single season NBA records, including a record 402 three-pointers scored in 2015/16. Next season, Curry will sign a 'supermax' contract worth $201 million over five years.
Curry is more than accomplished when it comes to basketball, but now he will turn his hands to a different kind of challenge in the Ellie Mae Classic. Curry, a long term fan of golf, will retain his amateur status and will receive sponsor exemption for the event. He will play with a 2.2 handicap.
“Golf has always been a passion of mine and it's a dream come true to get the chance to play inside the ropes amongst the pros in a PGA Tour-sanctioned tournament,” says Curry.
And that's what makes this opportunity unique. Curry has played in charity events and exhibition pro-ams before, but this is an actual PGA sanctioned event and, as a second-tier golf tournament, is a clear gateway to the most prestigious competitions in the world, namely the PGA Tour itself. Could the NBA star soon be a golf master?
Well, probably not. Though he will be competing directly with the pros, he won't be someone who you can expect to win the competition. Though his status in NBA is legendary, his golf is at around about college level – better than most, but hardly up there with the pros. You wouldn't take a bet on him, and you won't be seeing him competing in the UK Open alongside 8/1 BetStars favorite Dustin Johnson anytime soon.
In his own words, “I'm going to try to keep it in the fairway and play well,” and that's all we should really expect from his golfing career!
Curry is an NBA player through-and-through. This isn't a change of career path we are seeing here, but simply a promotional link that benefits everyone involved: bringing a much needed boost to golf's image, keeping NBA in the spotlight post-season, and reinforcing the ties between the Ellie Mae Classic and the Warriors Community Foundation, the main charity that the tournament supports.
“We're proud to welcome Stephen Curry to the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae. He's a terrific player on the court and we expect him to dominate on the green as well. We're also thrilled to once again partner with our main charitable beneficiary, the Warriors Community Foundation,” said Jonathan Corr, CEO of Ellie Mae.
Curry isn't the only NBA player to enjoy a round of golf. Many basketball stars past and present play golf events or even hold their own tournaments, including: Charles Barkley; NBAs greatest trash-talker Larry Bird, who plays with a 3.1 handicap; Michael Jordan, who holds a celebrity golf tournament in Los Angeles; and Ray Allen, who is one of the NBAs greatest golfers with a 1.2 handicap, and holds charity golfing events for his Ray Of Hope Foundation.
Last year's Web.com Tour Ellie Mae Classic was full of eventful surprises and excellent plays, with Stephen Jaeger making a 12-under 58 opening round, the lowest score in PGA history at the time, and finishing 30-under 250 total with a seven-shot victory.
You can see Stephen Curry in action by grabbing tickets to the Ellie Mae Classic. Otherwise, you will have to wait until he owns the courts again next NBA season.