All-Star point guard Steph Curry of the world champion Golden State Warriors is the latest athlete to try his luck in a professional golf tournament.
Curry owns a 2.2 handicap and gets his chance at the 2017 Ellie Mae Classic on the PGA’s Web.com Tour. He’s in for an eye-opening experience. Other professional athletes have tried in the past and, like Curry, quickly discover that it’s tough to compete at a high level in the world of golf.
Not one player this side of John Brodie has remotely threatened to make the cut on a major pro circuit. The ex-San Francisco 49ers quarterback was an avid golfer, and he decided to turn pro after he retired from the NFL. Brodie could actually play the game at the highest level, and he eventually won a pro tournament.
Brodie’s highlight was his victory at the 1991 Security Pacific Senior Classic at Rancho Park in Los Angeles. He shot 66-66-68, then made birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Chi Chi Rodriguez, who won 22 times on the senior tour, and 1969 Masters champion George Archer. Brodie remains the only, let me repeat that, THE ONLY former athlete turned golfer that could actually play.
Athletes who have tried to be pro golfers
Let’s take a look at some other past athletes who tried their luck in professional golf tournaments.
Quarterback Mark Rypien shot 80-91 at the 1992 Kemper Open on the PGA Tour. He also shot 78-87 at the 2000 Tri-Cities Open on the Nationwide Tour. Rypien failed miserably and found out just how hard it is.
Kicker Al Del Greco is a great player…at his local club. He tried his luck at two Nationwide events back in the 90s. He shot 76-79 and 75-78, missing both cuts and finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard. Golf is hard, just ask Al!
Wide Receiver Jerry Rice, after retiring from the NFL, became a serious golf nut, playing and practicing everyday. He actually thought he could make the cut at the BMW Charity Pro-Am on the Nationwide Tour. He got his chance and promptly shot 92-82. He tried again at the Fresh Express Classic, shooting 76-83. Not as easy as you think, is it, Mr. Rice.
The overriding lesson: Golf is hard, really hard.
These ex-athletes parade around their local country clubs, playing with their buddies with absurd low handicaps and thinking that if they practice enough, they can play with in the professional golf ranks. Then comes tournament time and it’s totally different. The courses have narrower fairways, the rough is thick and the greens are slick with wicked hole locations.
And finally there’s Curry, who is getting his shot this August at the Ellie Mae Classic on the Web.com Tour. Keep in mind, last year the winning score at this event was 30-under par – the lowest collective score in Tour history.
Everyone thinks it’s great that Curry is playing, but what he’s really doing is taking a spot from a struggling mini-tour player that actually would have a shot to compete. Curry has no business taking the spot, and he will leave the tournament shaking his head after missing the cut and finishing near the bottom of the leaderboard. Stick to hoops Curry, you’re wasting your time and everyone else’s.
Steph Curry Golf Rounds Prediction: 76-76
Stephen Curry Golf Props:
(Odds courtesy of Bookmaker.eu)
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