MVP Curry birdies Augusta's first, won't reveal score

By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2016, 7:15 pm

MIAMI – Steph Curry makes 3's everywhere – even at Augusta National.

Calling it an experience he won't forget, Curry was part of a group of Golden State Warriors who got to play the course Tuesday, and the NBA's 3-point leader and reigning MVP even made a 10-footer for birdie on his opening hole.

As for his score, Curry is keeping that one quiet. He plays to about a 2 handicap.

"I'd never been there before, so it was a real treat," Curry said Wednesday in Miami, after Golden State's shootaround practice to prepare for facing the Heat. "I'm not going to tell you what I shot, but that was a bucket-list kind of day. I'm a golf fanatic, so to say I played at Augusta is pretty cool."

The round was a championship reward from Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who promised Curry and Andre Iguodala that if Golden State won the title, he would use his connections and get them on the storied course. During the on-court celebration in Cleveland after Golden State wrapped up the championship, Iguodala screamed at Curry, "We're going to Augusta!"

"One of my best friends is a member at Augusta and he's taken me there a couple times," Kerr said. "Steph and Andre are such avid golfers, so I told them – obviously, I asked my friend first, and he said `Yeah, let's do it' – that if we win the whole thing, you go to Augusta."

So when the Warriors made their lone appearance of the season in nearby Atlanta on Monday, the timing was right for Augusta to happen. Curry, Iguodala, team executive Jerry West and Warriors owner Joe Lacob stayed behind to play the course that hosts the Masters while the rest of the team's travel party flew Monday night to Miami.

A few other people with Warriors ties were involved as well, and Curry's father, Dell, the former NBA player who introduced his son to golf, also got to play.

"They had a great time," Kerr said.

Stephen Curry remembers playing his first round of golf around when he was 8 or 9, was part of his high school's golf team and is a past participant at the American Century Championship – a celebrity tournament held in Nevada each summer. He even got to play a round with President Barack Obama last summer, shooting 76 and doing so while Obama drove the golf cart.

He made a 10-footer for his birdie to open his round Tuesday, and then said that any amateur golfer can probably surmise what happened next.

"You birdie the first hole, it can only go downhill from there," Curry said. "That's exactly what happened."

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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.


Updated Official World Golf Ranking


There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.


Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”