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Crossover appeal: Stephen Curry’s 13 most impactful golf moments, ranked!

October 15, 2019

A dominant figure on the hoops court, Stephen Curry has emerged as a major force in golf. Here’s a look at 13 of his most significant moments in the game.

 13. And so it begins…

Curry was in grade school in North Carolina when his father, Dell, first took him to the course and let him strike putts with a sawed-off putter. Foreshadowing? For sure. It wasn’t long before young Steph was dropping bombs.

12. Better than Barkley

In 2010, Curry made his debut at the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe known for drawing the smooth-swinging likes of Michael Jordan and the glitchy-swinging yikes of Charles Barkley. Unlike Sir Charles, Curry made a strong showing in the event, finishing T-28. 

11. Curry 1, Corden 0

Singing. Dancing. Shooting. Sinking putts. Is there anything the man can’t do? You had to wonder after Curry’s charming star turn on Carpool Karaoke, in which he accomplished everything from crooning Disney tunes in the passenger seat to … dusting James Corden in miniature golf.

10. Sweet shot from the cheap sheets

During an impressive run at the 2013 American Century title (see No. 5, below), Curry showed his gift for improvisation, playing a deft chip from the grandstands, as Justin Timberlake urged him on.

9. A Pin-Seeking Approach

A threat from long distance on the court, Curry can be plenty deadly on the course. Witness this pin-rattler during the opening round of the 2018 Ellie Mae Classic on what was then the Web.com tour, where Curry fired a cool 1-over 71.

8. Prime-time putt-putt

Say what you want about Holey Moley (and at GOLF.com, we said plenty!), the prime-time miniature golf-themed reality show on which Curry serves as host and co-producer. To watch it is to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his love for the game runs insanely deep.

7. Dress like Steph

“When you look good, you feel good and you play good golf,” Curry declared in unveiling “Range Unlimited,” the golf clothing line he launched with Under Armour this year. When you have your own fashion lines in two sports, you know you’re doing something right.

6. Thrillin’ them with Phil

In the highest profile pro-am pairing at this year’s Safeway Open, Curry smiled for first-tee photos with his partner, Phil Mickelson, then split the fairway with a 370-yard drive. “He’s got the two things you can’t teach — speed and touch,” Mickelson said of Curry post-round. “He’s just a rare talent. We simply don’t see many professional athletes come from other sports and play golf as well as he does. That’s something special that you don’t mess with. I wouldn’t have him change a thing.”

5. In the hunt

Curry didn’t make it back to the American Century until 2013, but he nearly made the most of his second appearance. He held the outright lead with seven holes to play before stumbling down the stretch to finish T-4, three Stableford points behind winner Billy Joe Tolliver.

 4. Pitching in for a cure

In 2018, Scott Harrington was playing on what was then the Web.com when his wife, Jenn, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Enter Curry, who’d never met the Harrington’s but wanted to help. And so he did, donating $25,000 to the family’s GoFundme page.

3. What comes around, goes around

As Curry warmed up on the range in advance of this year’s Safeway Open pro-am, a PGA Tour rookie tapped him gently on the shoulder. It was Scott Harrington. After taking off a year to care for his wife, he’d returned to competition and earned his Tour card. This was the first time he’d met Curry in person, and his gratitude gave rise to a moving moment. “This is crazy, full circle,” Curry said as he and Harrington posed for photos, two men connected by more than just the game.

2. Nifty crossover

Playing on a controversial sponsor’s exemption in the Web.com Tour’s 2017 Ellie Mae Classic, Curry proved he was no Jerry Rice. On the same course where the NFL star had shot 23-over in 27 holes before withdrawing in a 2010 Nationwide Tour event, Curry posted a gutty pair of 74s. Though he missed the cut, he silenced critics who’d dismissed his place in the field as a misguided gimmick. In 2018, when a sponsor’s exemption for same event came Curry’s way again, even the lowest Twitter trolls stayed mum. 

1. Putting his money where his mouth is

Talking of “growing the game” often comes cheap. But not for Curry, who this summer committed a seven-figure sum over six years to help revive the men’s and women’s golf program at historically black Howard University. Curry also pledged to create an endowment fund to help sustain the school’s golf program beyond its first six years.

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