HAYWARD (KPIX) – Golden State Warriors star Steph Curry bogeyed three of his first five holes Thursday to finish the day 4-over par at the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic.
Playing against the PGA pros for the first time, Curry — a 2 handicap golfer — teed off on the back nine and proceeded to bogey the 10th, 13th and 14th holes before birdying the par-5 15th and steadying his game.
Curry — who averaged 265 yards off the tee — would pick up two more birdies on the front nine, but he’d also bogey the Par-3 second, pick up a costly double bogey on the Par-4 5th hole and then found the fairway bunker on the Par-5 9th hole and ended up with another bogey.
Playing partner Web.com pro Sam Ryder also struggled. Ryder doubled bogeyed the 9th to finish at 5-over.
The two-time NBA MVP is playing this week on a sponsor’s exemption at TPC Stonebrae, the Bay Area stop on the Web.com Tour – golf’s minor league circuit.
Curry played a 5-hour, 18-hole practice round earlier this week with full-time Web.com golfers Nick Rousey and Taylor Moore.
“In the first five or six holes, I was really impressed,” said Rousey who has just three top-10 finishes in seven years on tour.
Curry learned the game living in Charlotte when his dad Dell played in the NBA. According to the NCGA website, Curry’s handicap index is +0.7 – excellent for a weekend warrior, but not good enough to go compete with the pros.
“I’d like to make the cut,” said Curry who guaranteed to play two rounds on Thursday and Friday. “It’s going to take the two best rounds of my life.”
This is the eighth time TPC Stonebrae has hosted the Ellie Mae Classic – never has the tournament received this much buzz.
“He gets people out here watching, which only benefits the Web.com Tour,” said Rousey. “If that’s the case, it allows me to have a job. I’m so grateful he’s come and done it.”