Golden State Warriors mega-star Steph Curry is playing in the Web.com Tours’ EllieMae Classic at the TPC Stonebrae in the hills above Hayward that begins Thursday, August 3. Following is the question and answer from his press conference Tuesday. For ACES editor Dennis Miller’s opinion on Curry playing in the tournament and the excitement it is generating see his story at https://acesgolf.com/steph-curry-playing-in-web-com-event-at-tpc-stonebrae/
Steph, how did it go?
STEPH CURRY: It was fun out there. I’ve never really done like a practice round type where you really examine every angle and green and get a game plan together. Nick Rousey and Taylor Moore were very helpful in kind of showing me the ropes in that respect. But it was fun to just get around, enjoy some good swings and hopefully play well on Thursday.
What’s your goal? Do you have a goal set?
STEPH CURRY: I mean, obviously I just want to have fun, play well. I know how tough it is. I’m going to experience how tough it is when the pressure’s on. I would obviously like to make the cut and see if that’s in the cards, but I’ve gotten a lot of advice from some of the pros out here, some of the guys I know on the PGA Tour and they basically just say take your time, be patient, and just stay in the moment because a lot can happen.
Did you have a moment out there when you thought what have I gotten myself into?
STEPH CURRY: No. I play a lot of golf, but I’ve been in a couple competitive situations where you know what it feels like to deal with nerves and all that. I’m sure I’ll have some jitters on Thursday. At the end of the day, it is just a golf course that I know fairly well, in front of you, just hit some good shots and try and play as best you can.
You mentioned making the cut. How realistic do you think that is?
STEPH CURRY: I mean, it would probably require me to play two of the best rounds I’ve probably played in my life, but why not, why not take advantage of the opportunity that I got right now. So, we’ll see. But like I said, Thursday’s going to be a whirlwind, just a fun experience and I just want to play well.
You hit a couple good shots in the American Century Championship a couple weeks ago, you’ve been doing some traveling. How have you prepared for this event?
STEPH CURRY: If any of the pros followed my practice regimen into this tournament, I’m pretty sure they’ve got a lot of talent, they would possibly be very underprepared. I’ll take that for what it is and, like I say, have a lot of confidence, take advantage of the next two days or this afternoon and tomorrow, get some reps in. But yeah, coming off the China trip wasn’t the best of timing for this tournament, but I’ll still have fun.
How dramatically different do you think this will be compared to playing in that (Tahoe) event or celebrity event?
STEPH CURRY: For me, I think my nerves will be the same, but when it comes it like the stakes that are involved and these guys’ livelihoods out here earning money on the PGA Tour, I highly doubt I’ll hit a good shot, drop my club and go chest bump my playing partner. So that will be a different story. Like I said, at the end of the day you want to hit good shots, you want to make putts and you want to enjoy your round the best you can.
You said you played here several times. What’s your best score here, what do you typically shoot here?
STEPH CURRY: Honestly, that’s a tough question to answer because I usually play here during the year and I play once a month, maybe twice a month during the season, so I don’t really have a good gauge of where my — the peak of my game is at that time.
Did you play this summer at (Stonebrae)?
STEPH CURRY: No. I actually don’t really want to think about that, to be honest. Like that normal rounds I play out here with Johnny, my caddie, or some other members here, it’s good experience to know the sights and all that, but it’s not anywhere near the stakes of the tournament. I kind of want to go in with a clean slate.
You’ve gotten down to a scratch handicap. What have you improved on the most since your high school playing days?
STEPH CURRY: Oh, that’s a good question. I gained a little bit of distance off the tee, my short game’s gotten a lot better now that I’ve gotten a little more mature in my older years. That’s probably it. I’ve been playing since I was 12, so obviously you’re going to hopefully improve every year just by playing. I don’t get to practice that much and really understand what that means to fine tune things in my swing and my game, but I just want to get better with a playing experience and things like that. My well-defined golf season from our last game in the playoffs until training camp starts, I enjoy every minute of it.
What’s your secret going overseas, and I saw in Rhode Island I saw you crashed a party or something there, and then you were at Harrison Barnes’ wedding. I mean, you’re having a blast this offseason celebrating and now you’re here at the Web.com Tour. What’s your secret to going to all these things and having fun?
STEPH CURRY: I mean, basketball has opened a lot of doors for me. Obviously going to China was an amazing experience to kind of get close and up personal with the fans there on behalf of Under Armour and kind of building basketball in that country. That’s an experience I look forward to every year. 3 Tee-Scripts.com The other stuff, life continues to happen and there’s a lot of great things going on, a lot of great things to celebrate. It’s a pretty crazy schedule, but I thrive in chaos so kind of just keep going. Obviously, I’m back working out, getting ready for next year, so add that to the equation.
Speaking of chaos, what did you think about people’s reaction to that video at Harrison Barnes’ wedding where you did the little LeBron James imitation? What did you think about everybody’s reaction to that?
STEPH CURRY: I mean, obviously I didn’t know anybody was filming it, so when I saw the video I knew it was going to blow up. It’s not something that — if you look at it through the keyhole, just that 20 seconds, you don’t understand what I was doing. I’ve been — ever since he posted that first video, I’ve loved it because he made a song maybe a lot of people wouldn’t have known pretty popular just by posting that video, so he’s got me doing the dance.
You were pretty excited during The Open Championship about what Jordan Spieth did. Has he gotten back to you, have you talked to him about what you’re going to do, have you guys discussed at all?
STEPH CURRY: No. I’m pretty sure he’s got a busy schedule on his own after the British, and obviously he’s got a lot more work to do. He’s going to hopefully have a great week in Charlotte, at Quail Hollow, hopefully going for the Grand Slam, so a lot on his plate. I don’t really expect him to be my swing coach or anything coming into a tournament like this. Obviously, what he was able to do in the British, I think we were up at like 1:00 in the morning in Chengdu, China, watching him just going crazy, me and all of my Under Armour team. So, it was fun to watch and obviously congratulations to him on an amazing accomplishment.
We haven’t talked to you obviously since free agency began. What do you think about the Warriors’ moves and keeping the core together, and were you ever worried that Iguodala and some of the others wouldn’t come back?
STEPH CURRY: No. Bob and Joe, the whole front office did an amazing job. Obviously, we want to preserve what we’ve got the best we can, keep the chemistry alive with the personnel that we have. Thankfully we got most everybody back, and the JaVale signing was huge. So that’s what you want. When you win a championship, you want to come back even stronger and better – I think we have the opportunity to do that. Looking forward to getting back out there not too soon. I think we’ve got like six weeks left or something like that, so I’m excited.
You played with Nick Rousey the last couple days and he was giving you some pointers and took a video of your swing. What was a couple of the things you took away from I guess his advice?
STEPH CURRY: He’s given me a lot. I’ve actually got to write it all down because my head was spinning a little bit just because when you hear the pros kind of talk about what their expectations are going into a tournament, their swing thoughts, little tidbits of information that I necessarily wouldn’t have otherwise known, you all have those like crazy a-ha moments and then it’s just about figuring out how to execute what he’s been telling me. He’s such a nice guy. He didn’t have to kind of be worried about my game as he’s trying to play well this week, too. I appreciate that and hopefully I can take a couple of those swing tips and thoughts and put it in my back pocket for this week.
What do you think the biggest difference is? In Napa you said that you’re comparing your game to the pros and you’re saying that their misses are a lot smaller. When you look out here these last couple days, how would you sort of explain the difference between a tour pro and an accomplished amateur like yourself?
STEPH CURRY: We talked about Nick Rousey. I saw him have like a one-handed finish like twice and he was on the left side of the fairway. His ball flight wasn’t exactly how he wanted it but he wasn’t looking for his ball on the next shot, it was right there in front of him. It just wasn’t as flawless of a shot as he expected. My misses are a lot wilder. Just the consistency there, the confidence in them knowing from the time they set up over the ball — obviously everybody has misses once in a while, but when they’re setting up over the ball, they know where it’s going and their expectations are much higher than mine on every shot. Nick’s been telling me to keep positive thoughts. And obviously out here when you’re in the tournament, if you hit a bad shot, obviously to not let that snowball into the next one. A lot of similarities in all sports, basketball and golf, whether you’re shooting shots, you don’t really — you have to have a short memory. Out here it’s pretty much the same. But yeah, their misses are much more contained than mine are.