Steph Curry had hoped to get off to a good start on the opening day and be in the conversation at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Although Curry had a mediocre start, he was, in fact, in the conversation of the more than 47,000 spectators — thousands wearing Golden State blue and yellow colors at the July 22-24 made-for-TV celebrity golf tournament. It was the largest weekend total attendance in the tournament’s 27-year history. On Monday, celebrities were still streaming out of Lake Tahoe — in private jets.
Mark Mulder birdied Holes 6 through 9 during the final round on Sunday, en route to a weekend-best round of 29 to win his second consecutive American Century Championship.
“I knew going into today I needed to make a bunch of birdies, and I didn’t make many putts the last few days,” Mulder said after collecting another trophy and a check for $125,000. “Today is one of those days I knew I had to. Luckily they started rolling in.”
There was drama on the final hole, which Mulder bogeyed. Former tennis player Mardy Fish missed a 12-foot putt for eagle on 18 which would have put him in a tie with Mulder.
Curry had an overall score of 28 to finish in 27th place.
Before the competition, the NBA’s reigning two-time Most Valuable Player had a warning to those in the crowd when someone asked if he would wear his mouthpiece during the competition as he does during basketball games.
“I might pull it out,” he said. “If I make a double bogey, the fans on whatever hole better watch out. I might throw it at them.”
The normally mild-mannered Curry lost his cool in Game 6 of the NBA Finals and threw his mouthpiece, accidentally hitting a courtside fan.
Curry was accompanied by his father, former NBA player Del Curry, during a round that was stalled at times behind former big-league pitcher Tim Wakefield’s group. Perhaps the slight breeze hindered the knuckleballer’s ability to keep it in the fairway. The delays provided autograph seekers a chance to get a signature for their Warriors’ jerseys and ballcaps.
“We come out every year, this time to see Curry,” said Stateline, Nevada, resident Melanie McKenzie, who wanted to get an autograph for her preschool-aged son.
Kasen Boggs, who will be a Carson Valley Middle School player on the seventh-grade team, said he sprinted across the course to catch up to Curry’s group. “We have the same birthday, March 14,” Boggs said. “I like his shooting and defense and passing.”
Curry’s golf game is pretty good, too. He displayed a long, accurate drive, had a nice chip shot on Hole 15 and his short game was decent. He nailed a mid-range putt on 17. Moreover, the three-time competitor at Tahoe was calm and poised. Oddsmakers have listed him at 6-1 to win the tourney, fourth best behind last year’s winner Mike Mulder, tennis player Mardy Fish and former Dodger pitcher Eric Gagne. The last time Curry played here, he held the lead with just 7 holes remaining.
“I don’t know how they come up with the odds; I just got off the basketball court,” Curry said. “I’m pretty confident, let’s just say that, in my game right now, for what it is. So if that means a win, then I’ll be real happy. … You assume somebody is going to play out of their mind for three days, and it’s probably one of Mulder, Gagne or Fish. I hope to be in the conversation, too.”
One of the most accurate shooters in basketball history, Curry compared his main game to his summertime hobby.
“I have much less confidence on the greens than I do on the court,” he said “But, yeah. Everybody asks if putting is like shooting free throws. Like that 6-footer for par or something like that. It has a very similar kind of mindset. And it’s just you, the ball and the target.
“A lot more variables in golf. But the biggest thing is just routine. I think that’s the biggest correlation between golfers and basketball players, is for me I really rely on my routine every single day when I get ready for games and how I prepare.”
While Curry has a shot to do well in the golf tourney, oddsmakers certainly will make his basketball team the favorite next season with the addition of 6-foot-11 all-star Kevin Durant.
“Yesterday was the first time I saw Kevin Durant in a Warrior T-shirt,” Curry said. “I like did a double-take. it was the weirdest thing ever, because it’s still kind of fresh.
“But we’re going to love having him. It’s going to be an interesting transition because it is such a different team than we had last year, and you have a guy like that with such a high caliber player, you gotta figure it out. But (with) the collective IQ we have on that squad, I like our chances. And it’s going to be fun.”
|30||Del Negro, Vinny||$5,028||27||7||11||9|
|46||Rooney, Joe Don||Amateur||9||-1||6||4|
|81||Larry the Cable Guy,||Amateur||-70||-20||-26||-24|