HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA - Stephen Curry missed the cut Friday night against professional golfers one notch below the PGA Tour.
But not before leaving some of golf’s best players impressed that a two-time MVP for the Golden State Warriors could enter their arena and look respectable.
Curry opened with a 4-over 74 on the TPC Stonebrae and needed a career round to stay for the weekend. He shot a 74 again on Friday to finish tied for 148th. He missed the cut by 11 shots.
The two-handicapper was proud of his performance against the golf professionals.
“To keep it together after a shaky start was a proud moment,” Curry said.
“To shoot two 74s, I’ll take that. It was nice to keep my composure. Proud to have a consistent effort for 36 holes.”
Although Curry beat only four of the players who completed 36 holes, he was pleased to have avoided the high scores some had predicted for him.
“I wanted to shoot a few strokes less but after yesterday I’m extremely proud of backing that up with another solid round because it could have gone either way,” he added.
“It could have been that 80, 90 talk I heard going into the tournament.”
Curry bogeyed two of the first three holes on Friday and shot a 39 on a 3-hour front nine. He made five straight pars and birdied No. 14, but he played the final three holes at plus-1 with two bogeys and a birdie on 17.
“That was awesome what he did yesterday,” British Open champion Jordan Spieth said Friday at the Bridgestone Invitational. “I think he certainly beat most everybody’s expectations, but I don’t think that really surprised him. It was pretty cool — really cool — to see. You see him fist-pumping out there, and just him talking about how nervous he was when he heard his name called, it just makes us feel a little better when sometimes some of the stuff he does looks like a robot.”
Stanford alum Andrew Yun shot a 62 on Friday and finished two rounds at 8-under 127. Fellow American Brandon Harkins is two shots back after rounds of 64 and 65.
One of the highlights for Curry in the opening round was a long birdie putt and telling his caddie to “Go get that” from the cup. That was the famous line Spieth said to his caddie at Royal Birkdale two weeks ago after a 50-foot eagle putt to take the lead.
“To be honest, I think it’s pretty special for a two-time MVP to be able to shoot 74 at a pro event and beat other pros,” former PGA champion Jason Day said.
No one expected very much out of Curry, who last year played in the pro-am at the PGA Tour’s season opener in Napa. The field included players who have competed in majors this year, and seven players who have won on the PGA Tour.
The question in some corners was how high his score would be.
“I was asked if I thought he was going to break 80, and that’s the hand grenade question,” Paul Casey said. “But 4 over is really good. It’s a lot of pressure, and he exceeded my expectations.”
Zach Johnson, a two-time major champion, said he has a friend who knows Curry and said he was a good player. The score in the first round was enough to make a believer out of Johnson.
“Clearly, he is,” Johnson said. “I don’t know that golf course. Someone said they shoot pretty low there often, but it doesn’t matter. You’ve still got to put the ball in the hole. First round as an amateur in a professional tournament? That’s pretty good.”
Johnson vaguely recalled the time Jerry Rice, the Hall of Fame receiver for the San Francisco 49ers, played in the tournament. Rice shot 90.
“He’s a good athlete. They’re both good athletes,” Johnson said. “I’m not going to be playing for the 49ers.”