Warriors

Curry misses Ellie Mae Classic cut, but win-win with second straight 74

Curry misses Ellie Mae Classic cut, but win-win with second straight 74

AKRON, Ohio – This week Firestone Country Club is the gathering place for 49 of the world’s top 50 players. All four reigning major champions are here, as are dozens of other elite names, all with accomplished backgrounds.

It’s an exclusive field with a lucrative purse to match, and it’s the final opportunity for guys to hone their craft before heading to the season’s final major.

And yet, despite all of the pedigree that accompanies the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, the biggest story in golf this week revolves around an amateur who will miss the cut 2,500 miles away.

Any questions over the merits of Steph Curry’s unrestricted sponsor exemption into this week’s Ellie Mae Classic on the Web.com Tour were roundly silenced by his opening-round 74 that exceeded all expectations. What had the potential to become a cringe-worthy spectacle instead captivated a hefty amount of attention.

The crossover potential was fully realized as Curry had golf fans and non-golf fans alike buzzing about his round on a developmental circuit that some likely had never heard of before.

In essence, the grand experiment worked.

It also got the attention of several of the PGA Tour’s biggest names.

“To be honest, I think it’s pretty special for a two-time MVP to be able to shoot 74 at a pro event and beat other pros,” said Jason Day. “I mean, we play our whole lives and the guy plays basketball and he beats some of the pros. It’s very impressive to see.”

Curry’s inclusion in the field initially drew some resistance, including from professionals who felt he was taking a spot from someone who could better put it to use to pursue his livelihood. But the Web.com field archives show that the “unrestricted” sponsor invites – of which each tournament receives two – often go to players who have no true aspirations of competing week in and week out on Tour.

The other unrestricted spot this week in California went to Colt McNealy, the teenage brother of top-ranked amateur Maverick McNealy, who took top honors in an 18-hole qualifier. The spots simply serve as a tool by which the tournament can bolster its profile, whether by investing in a budding young player or bringing in new fans by the truckload thanks to a certain NBA star.

After a second straight 74, Curry won’t be around for the weekend, and he’ll beat only a handful of players. But his ability to hold his own in a sport he considers a hobby was not lost on those who play it as a job.

“It’s so rare to have a player in another sport of that caliber playing during his career,” said Brendan Steele. “Like, he’s in the prime of his career in the other sport. That’s what I think is so cool about it. There are plenty of guys that will want to play the PGA Tour, Web.com after they’re done and they get to practice for five years or whatever. But he’s in the prime of his career.”

Curry’s effort around TPC Stonebrae had its rocky moments, but he also produced a handful of highlights including a lengthy birdie make after which he channeled Jordan Spieth’s memorable Open exchange by directing his caddie to retrieve the ball from the hole.

READ MORE AT GolfChannel.com

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

OAKLAND -- About an hour after general manager Bob Myers said the defending champion Warriors would soon gather to determine their response to any potential invitation from the White House, Stephen Curry reiterated his personal views.

“I don’t want to go,” Curry said during Media Day on Friday.

Curry has previously stated this position, one he shares with several teammates. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala also have expressed no interest in visiting President Donald Trump. David West has made clear his distaste for Trump’s boorish conduct.

But Curry has thought not only about the subject but also how he reached his conclusion.

“That we don't stand for basically what our president has -- the things that he said and the things that he hasn't said in the right terms -- that we won't stand for it,” he said. “And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.

“It's not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion. You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things, from (Colin) Kaepernick to what happened to (Michael) Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that we need to kind of change. And we all are trying to do what we can, using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that.”

Officially, the Warriors have made no firm decision. They will discuss the matter in the coming day in hopes of reaching a consensus.

Though Curry understands the final decision will be made every consulting with every voice in the locker room -- including coach Steve Kerr, who also has been critical of Trump -- he’s unwavering about his personal stance.

“It's not just me going to the White House. If it were, this would be a pretty short conversation,” he said.

“Like I said, it's the organization; it's the team. And it's hard to say because I don't know exactly what we're going to do in lieu of or if we do go or if we don't go or whatever.

“But my beliefs stay the same. I'll have a better answer for that once I can kind of understand where the group is, too.”

While Iguodala passed on delivering his stance, citing that he had been prepped on the subject by the team’s media relations staff, Durant -- like Curry -- said he has to take the opinions of his teammates into consideration.

“It's going to be tough to change my mind,” Durant said, “but we're going to talk about it as a team and figure out the next steps from there.”

West did not divulge his decision, opting to firmly state he “will let everybody know my opinion” once the team meets on the subject.

 

Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words

Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words

 

Kevin Durant didn't mean to lampoon the Thunder, later deleting the tweets, but he said what he said

Asked about Durant on Friday and Thunder GM Sam Prestie took the high road. 

"I think the only thing I can say to that is just to be consistent with everything that I have said and everyone else from the organization," Presti said. "I, and no one from the Thunder, really has anything negative to say about Kevin Durant, and I think we've been hopefully very open about the fact that we have tremendous appreciation and respect for what he and his teammates and coaches and everybody over his tenure here accomplished, and I really don't think there's anything more to say than that."

Durant called the actions "childish" and "idiotic" and said that his actions have impacted his sleep cycles and eating habits.

The Warriors first face the Thunder on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Oklahoma City.