Celebrity golf notebook: Curry said if he won, there would be some….
STATELINE, Nev. – For all the success he has had on the basketball court, Steph Curry says one trophy would stand out for him: the celebrity golf title.
Curry, who won his fourth NBA championship last month with the Golden State Warriors and was named MVP of the NBA Finals, is playing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament this week at Lake Tahoe.
Curry has finished in the top five at the ACC three times in his nine previous visits to Edgewood.
Curry said if he won the ACC, there would be some reshuffling on the trophy shelf in his home office.
Curry is among the contenders to win the 33rd annual tournament. Other top contenders include former champions Tony Romo, Mardy Fish and Mark Mulder along with John Smoltz, 2021 winner Vinny Del Negro and Annika Sorenstam — the greatest player in the history of women’s golf.
Curry said winning his fourth NBA title with the same core group of players, along with several new additions, has not completely sunk in yet.
“It’s an amazing thing to think about,” Curry said. “It’s nice to come out and see the Dub Nation (Warriors fans) here in Lake Tahoe and play some golf. So I’m excited about it.”
Curry said if he won the ACC, his wife Ayesha knows which trophies to move around on the shelf.
“I hope we can make that decision on Sunday night when I get home,” Curry said, smiling. “(I’ve) played well, three times got in the top five. So I know I have it in there.
“This year, obviously coming off the finals, running deep into June, we’ll see how the golf game goes. That usually helps with lower expectations, just to go out and play free and just have fun, first and foremost. And if I can find a way to get off to a good start, that’s obviously the best feeling when you can feel like you’re in contention.”
Finishing college: Curry recently finished work for his college degree from Davidson.
He said he promised his mother, Sonya Curry, and his college coach, Bob McKillop, that he would graduate after leaving school after his junior year.
“I did a lot of work right after I left school, 13 years later, finally finished,” Curry said. “The motivation was, one, to fulfill that promise. But my oldest daughter is getting older. I wanted to make sure I didn’t graduate the same year she did. That was it.”
Title IX: This year is the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity) in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Curry said the issue of women in athletics is important to his family and he and his wife started a scholarship fund at Davidson for women’s athletics outside of basketball.
“(We did it) because they have the most scholarship offerings there. But all the other sports were kind of lacking,” he said. “So we started a fund there to create more opportunities, especially for young women from under-represented communities. And the feedback we got about how much just being able to play in high school and college built confidence and belief that you could accomplish anything whether in sports or outside of sports.
“There’s so many amazing women in positions of leadership. There needs to be more. And sports is a great conduit to do it.”
The 54-hole tournament, held annually at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course since 1990, will be televised on Peacock, the Golf Channel and NBC. The winner receives $125,000 of the $600,000 purse.
Odds to win: Romo, an NFL commentator for CBS and a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, and Fish, the former ATP tennis player, are listed as the co-favorites at 11-to-4, according to the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill. A $4 wager would return $11.
They are followed by Del Negro, the former NBA player and coach, at 5-to-1; former MLB pitchers Smoltz (9-to-2) and Mulder (13-to-2); and Sorenstam (17-to-2). Curry is listed at 12-to-1, along with former NFL defensive lineman Kyle Williams.
Romo said the group of potential winners in the ACC grows larger every year.
“A lot of guys can win. A lot of guys are really good players who can go out there and shoot 70, 69. And you didn’t have that many guys before,” he said.
Betting on Barkley: Barkley, the NBA legend who has long been a fan favorite at this event, said in a teleconference call last month that he would likely wager $100,000 on himself to finish in the top 70, a wager that Caesars created last year after learning of Barkley’s improved game.
Barkley has annually finished among the bottom three at the ACC but tied for 76th out of 88 players in 2021. His $100,000 bet last year was returned to him because it is illegal for one to wager on himself in Nevada. He said he would have a friend place the bet for him this year.
Curry laughed when asked about the bet, saying there is no way he would bet on Barkley to finish in the top 70. Barkley has been critical of the Warriors’ style of play in recent years, saying they rely on the 3-pointer too much.
“No. Hell no. Clip that, send it to him, let him play it on every tee box. There’s no way he’s doing it,” Curry said. “As much faith as Chuck has had in the Warriors and jump-shooting teams winning championships, that’s the amount of faith I have in him hitting the top 70.”
More bets: Curry, and his father Dell and brother Seth, make an annual bet about which will finish better in the ACC.
Celebrity golf notebook: Curry says winning ACC would cause some shuffling in trophy case.