Stephen Curry to play's Ellie Mae Classic on sponsor exemption

ByBob Harig ESPN logo
Tuesday, July 31, 2018

NBA star Stephen Curry will test his golf skills again next week on the Tour, the PGA Tour's developmental circuit.

The Golden State Warriors guard will play in the Ellie Mae Classic, where he shot rounds of 74-74 last year and missed the cut. The tournament begins Aug. 9 at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, California.

"The players on the Tour welcomed me with open arms in 2017, and it was an amazing experience," Curry said in a statement released by the tournament. "Golf is a game that has provided wonderful experiences in my life and I am excited to return to the Ellie Mae Classic in August."

As he did last year, Curry will compete as an amateur. According to the Golf Handicap and Information Network, Curry has a 0 handicap index and has been as low as a plus-1.2. He tied for 11th at the recent American Century celebrity event won by Tony Romo.

Although Curry fared better than just a handful of players last year, his appearance brought a good deal of attention to the tournament. His opening-round 74 was better than that of Aaron Wise (75), who won on the PGA Tour this year at the AT&T Byron Nelson, as well as Sam Ryder (75), who is competing this year on the PGA Tour.

Curry is getting one of the tournament's two unrestricted sponsor exemptions. At regular domestic tournaments, these spots are awarded at the sponsor's discretion and rarely to a player who couldn't otherwise get in off his Tour status. They often go to club pros, local pros or amateurs, or celebrities.