Last year, Stephen Curry was driving balls into drinking cups. But the sharp-shooting guard for the Golden State Warriors seems to have significantly improved upon his golf game since then.

Curry, playing as an amateur at the Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic, made a late push with three birdies on Thursday and shot a one-over 71 in the first round of the $600,000 event at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif.

Upon completion of his round, Curry was eight shots behind leaders Adam Long and Seth Reeves. Curry shot two 74s in consecutive rounds last year and finished tied for 148th place, missing the cut by 11 strokes.

Curry, who made headlines for putting a ball in an unfortunately placed drinking cup during last year’s event, hit the flagstick on the eighth hole Thursday.

“Yeah, there’s one of those off the face, hit it flush and it was on line,” Curry told of the pin-shot. “I see it hit — or I hear the pin rattle — and that was a cool moment. I didn’t know how close it landed.

“When I walked up there, literally was an inch away from dunking it. Out here, I don’t get many dunks.”


Richard Morin covers the Coyotes and Diamondbacks for azcentral sports. He can be reached at [email protected] and by phone at 480-316-2493. Follow him on Twitter @ramorin_azc