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Steph Curry shoots 71, nearly makes eagle in return

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HAYWARD, Calif. – Stephen Curry rallied with three birdies to shoot a 1-over 71 on Thursday in the first round of the Tour's Ellie Mae Classic.

Making his second appearance in the $600,000 event at TPC Stonebrae, the Golden State Warriors star rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 second hole with a long birdie putt on the par-5 third . He added birdies on the par-4 seventh and eighth – hitting the flagstick on No. 8 – and closed with a par on his final hole.

“Awesome day,” Curry said. “I hit fairways, which for me has been the struggle the [first] five nines I’ve played [in two Tour starts]. Hitting out of the rough all the time and scrambling puts a lot of stress on yourself. A couple putts went in and the shot on 17 [his eighth hole] was pretty cool. An inch away from dunking it. I don’t get many dunks so that was pretty cool.”

Playing as an amateur, Curry was eight shots behind leaders Adam Long and Seth Reeves with the afternoon wave still on the course. Last year, Curry shot 74-74 to tie for 148th and miss the cut by 11 shots.