Splash: Steph Curry returning to Lake Tahoe’s celebrity golf

Steph Curry

Steph Curry reacts after sinking a putt for par on Hole 17 at last year’s American Century Championship. The two-time NBA champion will return in 2017.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

As the Golden State Warriors celebrated their second NBA Championship in three years with a parade, Lake Tahoe reveled with the announcement that All-Star guard Stephen Curry will participate in the 2017 American Century Championship.

It will be the fifth appearance for Curry at the annual event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, located on the lake at the California-Nevada border. Curry finished 27th last year. His father, Dell, who also played in the NBA, retiring as the Charlotte Hornets all-time leading scorer, finished 26th, one point ahead of his son. (The Stableford Scoring System is used for the tournament to save embarrassment for terrible golfers such as Charles Barkley, Chris Webber and Lou Holtz.) Curry also played at Lake Tahoe in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

Curry’s backcourt mate and fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who was briefly listed at a participant, will not play due to a scheduling conflict, organizers announced.

Last summer more than 47,000 spectators attended the tourney — thousands wearing Golden State blue and yellow colors — shattering the attendance record.

Steph Curry photo bomb

Steph Curry photo bombs South Tahoe basketball player Frankie Aquilina during the 2016 American Century Championship.
Photo provided by Dalton Drum

The accurate long-range shooter on the court is pretty good on the links, too. He was a member of the Charlotte Christian High School golf team. He held the lead in 2014 with just seven holes remaining. Curry also will compete in the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae July 31-Aug. 6 on a sponsor exemption

Last year, Curry compared his main game to his summertime hobby.

“I have much less confidence on the greens than I do on the court,” he said “But, yeah. Everybody asks if putting is like shooting free throws. Like that 6-footer for par or something like that. It has a very similar kind of mindset. And it’s just you, the ball and the target.

“A lot more variables in golf. But the biggest thing is just routine. I think that’s the biggest correlation between golfers and basketball players, is for me I really rely on my routine every single day when I get ready for games and how I prepare.”

Steph Curry opens at 20-1 to win the tourney at the Harveys sports book. Dell Curry is 30-1.

In previous years, Curry has practiced at the basketball court in the Kahle Community Center near the golf course in the early morning hours before the tournament.

Other basketball representatives will be Ray Allen and Jason Kidd, Wally Szczerbiak and first-time participant Derek Fisher.

Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney, who sang the National Anthem before Game 3 of the NBA Finals, also will compete in the tourney. Rascal Flatts will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Peppermill in Reno. Country artist Colt Ford also will play in the golf tournament but according to his website will not be onstage until the end of the month.

Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo, who retired at the age of 37 in April, will make his first Tahoe appearance since 2011. He’s finished in second place three times and now that he’s about to start a career at a play-by-play TV analyst he might be less likely to skip post-round press conferences.

Recently retired Charles Woodson, who won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers and national championship and Heisman Trophy with the Michigan Wolverines, will play in the American Century Championship for the first time.

Other participants in the 89-player field will be three-time participant Justin Timberlake, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers and NFL Hall of Fame members Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Emmitt Smith, Marshall Faulk, John Elway, Marcus Allen and Tim Brown. Two-time champion Mark Mulder will chase an unprecedented three-peat.  Also in the field will be former Tahoe resident comedian Kevin Nealon, Larry the Cable Guy, Jared Goff, Alex Smith, Carson Palmer, Jason Kidd, Herm Edwards and — do you believe in miracles? — Al Michaels.

After Steph Curry and Timberlake, the largest gallery could be for Paige Spiranac, who models and has competed on the LPGA tour. She will be making her American Century debut.

The celebrities will compete for a $600,000 purse.

There will be two big outdoor concerts across the street from the golf course during the tournament. Lenny Kravitz and ZZ Ward perform on Friday, July 14 and Third Eye Blind plays Sunday, July 16. In the summer, the parking lot behind Harveys Lake Tahoe is converted into the 7,000 seat-capacity Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena.

President Donald Trump competed as an amateur three times at the ACC, from 2004-2006. His best finish was 42nd.

Related: Notes from Day 1 of the American Century Championship.

-Tim Parsons/ Tahoe Onstage

  • Television schedule
    — 3 to 5 p.m. Friday, NBCSN
    — 9-11 p.m. Friday, NBCSN (replay)
    — Noon-3 p.m. Saturday, NBC
    — Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, NBC
    Host Steve Sands and analyst Peter Jacobsen will anchor coverage from the 18th tower at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. They will be joined by Jimmy Roberts in an outer tower position, along with Notah Begay and Charlie Rymer reporting from inside the ropes. Michele Tafoya will conduct interviews with celebrities and athletes from the signature 17th hole at Edgewood Tahoe.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Success! Steph Curry signs an autograph during a delay in the action.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Steph Curry stretches out his right knee on the 16th fairway at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course ij 2016.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Tim Parsons

About Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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