Stephen Curry shoots 74 again at Ellie Mae Classic, misses cut

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

HAYWARD, Calif. -- Stephen Curry shot 4-over 74 on Friday -- his second consecutive 74 -- at the Tour's Ellie Mae Classic, but it wasn't enough to extend his first professional golf event into the weekend.

He missed the cut by 11 shots against professional golfers who are one notch below the PGA Tour, although the two-time NBA MVP for the Golden State Warriors looked respectable.

"It was great to play alongside the next and greatest in the golfing world and see how competitive [they are] and how much talent they have," Curry told ESPN's Michael Collins. "For me, just to hit some good shots, get tested with my nerves, and kind of understanding what it's like to play tournament golf on a big stage ... it was an unbelievable experience, and the environment out here was crazy."

Curry opened with a 74 on Thursday at TPC Stonebrae and needed a career round to stay for the weekend. Wearing basketball sneakers, he shot a 74 again on Friday to finish tied for 148th.

He bogeyed two of the first three holes on Friday and shot a 39 on a three-hour front nine before picking up his play on the back 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 (helped by a 12-foot putt) on No. 17.

"I hit some really good shots but a lot more poor shots," Curry told Collins. "To shoot, like you said, 74-74, I'll take that."

Curry said his nerves were much better Friday and that his comfort level was the biggest difference between his two rounds.

"Just feeling a little bit more comfortable in my shoes out here on the golf course," he told Collins.

Curry finished ahead of four players, while the 66 players who shot 3-under or better advanced to weekend play.

Stanford alum Andrew Yun shot a 62 on Friday and finished the two rounds at 8-under 127 for sole possession of the lead. Fellow American Brandon Harkins is two shots back after rounds of 64 and 65.

Curry's statistics over the two days mostly ranked on the lower end of the 156-player field.

The All-Star point guard was tied for 121st in driving distance (293.5 yards) and tied for 147th in both driving accuracy (50 percent) and greens in regulation (47.2 percent). His 58 total putts -- a mark that didn't include a three-putt in the first round -- were tied for 91st.

Overall, Curry played the par-3 holes in plus-3, the par-4s in plus-5 and the par-5s at even.

Curry left quite an impression on some of golf's best players, including Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus. Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Zach Johnson and Paul Casey, who were all competing at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron, Ohio, also were impressed with how Curry fared.

"That was awesome, what he did," said Spieth, the British Open champion. "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."

Added Casey: "I was asked if I thought he was going to break 80, and that's the hand grenade question. But 4 over is really good. It's a lot of pressure, and he exceeded my expectations."

Curry was humbled -- and excited -- by all the attention.

"My wife's probably hot at me because, all day yesterday, that's all I was doing -- just checking like who said what type of thing. I don't usually do that, but for golf Ifelt it was cool to kind of hear the chatter that was going on," Curry said. "A lot of guys texted me that I know on the PGA Tour, some guys on the Champions Tour reaching out, congratulating me on a solid round. Then got into the social media stuff, too, about a lot of people had their foot in their mouth a little bit.

"So that was cool just to kind of set a little fire in that regard. ... I love to play golf, but I don't live in the golf world, so that was cool."

Not much was expected of Curry, who last year played in the pro-am at the PGA Tour's season opener in Napa, California. The Ellie Mae Classic field included players who have competed in majors this year and seven players who have won on the PGA Tour.

The Associated Press and ESPN's Michael Collins and Stats & Information contributed to this report.

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