Stephen Curry didn’t make the cut at the 2017 Ellie Mae Classic. He wasn’t even close. But those expecting the Golden State Warriors star to fall on his face after a solid 74 on Thursday were sorely mistaken.
Curry recorded a four-over 74 in his second round Friday, which put him 11 shots above the cut line. He went into the clubhouse in a tie for 148th place, placing him ahead of six pros on the Web.com Tour. Among the four amateurs in the field, Curry finished third, ahead of Colt McNealy.
As was the case for most of the first round, the key to Curry’s success was finding ways to atone for his mistakes. He finished the round with 10 pars against six bogeys and two birdies and overcame a shaky start to finish strong.
Starting on the front nine, Curry dropped a pair of strokes with bogeys on Nos. 2 and 3 and made the turn at 39 after two more bogeys on Nos. 6 and 8. That put him at eight over for the event and left a little bit of a groan with the gallery who had been following him through the first two rounds.
But as has been the case throughout his basketball career, Curry was at his best with adversity staring him in the face. He narrowly missed a birdie on No. 11 as part of a four-hole stretch of pars to start the back nine, then finally got on the board with a birdie at No. 14.
While Curry dropped that shot on the par-three 16th after a tee shot that missed the green, he answered right back with a red number on 17. The round (and Curry’s tournament) finished with a disappointing bogey on the par-four 18th.
For someone with no professional golf experience making his debut amid a ton of press, it’s hard to argue Curry was anything less than great. A pair of rounds in the 70s is better than most expected.
In fact, veteran golfer Dawie van der Walt told ESPN.com’s Michael Collins he would eat his own golf bag if Curry broke 80 for the second straight day. Not only did Curry break 80 once again, he also held together what could have been a poor round and wound up matching his score.
Justin Ray of Golf Channel put his outing in perspective:
Perhaps we’ll see a little more social media gloating from the two-time MVP once he leaves the course. At the least, van der Walt should start spicing up that bag now and throw it on the grill for dinner time.
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