Stephen Curry warms up from slow start in pro golf debut

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HAYWARD, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry pumped his right fist, raised his arms in the air with club in hand and gave a firm shoulder bump to caddie Jonnie West, his golf partner on road trips with the Golden State Warriors.

A birdie at last after he scored three bogeys over his initial five holes Thursday.

There was the animated, confident Steph that NBA fans know so well, the two-time league MVP finally feeling it and making the tough shots on the challenging course at TPC Stonebrae while playing in his highly anticipated professional golf debut.

Curry drew quite a crowd to the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic, where Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice has played a few times in the past.

The star point guard of the champion Warriors high-fived fans – some 300-plus at the picturesque course providing panoramic views overlooking San Francisco Bay – between some holes and chatted with the other two in his threesome, Sam Ryder and defending champion Stephan Jaeger.

As Curry warmed up on the range early, he turned to West and said, “Let’s go, man, let’s go.” Perhaps his golf version of “Lock in! (hash)dubnation.”

Curry, who munched on a breakfast sandwich at the green of his first hole, missed badly on his initial ball of the day, landing his tee shot off a hill that kicked it perfectly into the cup holder of a golf cart. He then took a drop.

Not quite as spot-on as those signature pregame tunnel shots at Oracle Arena or jaw-dropping, buzzer-beating 3-pointers from way, way back.

On the 15th fairway, Curry leaned on West, a member of Golden State’s front office and son of Hall of Famer Jerry West. Then Curry finished the par-5 15th by sinking a 5-foot, downhill birdie putt. He made par on No. 16 then survived a tee shot to the bunker and a near stumble climbing out of the sand on the par-4 18th and made about an 8-footer to save par.

That prompted a triumphant club tap to his shoe and Curry then held up the ball sporting a big grin.

Curry began his round on the back nine and was 2-over 37 at the turn, where he eagerly accepted a bag of fast food chicken for lunch.

The top 65 and any ties from the 156-player field will make the cut to compete on the weekend. Curry is a sponsor exemption and one of three amateurs in the event.

With so many cameras clicking, cheers and whistles moments after he struck the ball and hundreds of supporters in No. 30 shirts and Warriors gear, this was no doubt a “Strength In Numbers” kind of day.

There would be no balls lost, either. Wherever his shots landed, a big crowd quickly gathered to get an up-close glimpse of one of basketball’s best. One of the biggest bargains in the NBA before, Curry was rewarded last month with a $201 million, five-year contract.

Playing his other sporting passion, Curry got plenty of help along the 7,024-yard, par-70 course. Those with homes along the course gathered in groups on decks to catch a hole.

“Good luck, Steph!”

“Play well, Steph!”

“Sit, sit, sit!” hollered 9-year-old Noah Zilka of Benicia, attending with grandfather, Tom Zilka.

“Ray Allen from long distance” with chip shot to save par at American Century Classic

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“Ray Allen from long distance, how many times have we said that?”

Ray Allen had a good weekend at the American Century Championships, the former NBA sharpshooter and future Hall of Famer finished third in the celebrity golf event. One of the reasons he was there, this chip shot on 13 Sunday.

Former Cowboy’s quarterback Tony Romo won the event, with former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder was second.

LeBron James sits courtside for Lakers’ Summer League win

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There are two, maybe three guys playing for the Lakers in Summer League likely to be sharing a locker room with LeBron James next season — Isaac Bonga and Josh Hart, with maybe Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and/or Alex Caruso. Only Hart could see the court much.

LeBron was still courtside on Sunday for a quarterfinal game at Summer League, showing his support and being a good teammate. He gave Hart a hug on the court. Brandon Ingram stopped by and talked with LeBron for a bit.

LeBron watched the Lakers continue their strong run through the Summer League, racking up a 101-78 win. LeBron was into it, when Mykhailiuk took a shot midway through the first quarter LeBron yelled, ‘cash only!”  The shot was nothing but net.

The Lakers are on to the Summer League semifinals. Los Angeles won the Vegas Summer League last year.

 

After losing to his father in golf, Stephen Curry leaps into Lake Tahoe

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Golf fanatic Stephen Curry was clearly enjoying himself on the links at the American Century Championship celebrity golf event in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

But he couldn’t beat his father, Dell.

The price? Curry (and his caddy) had to jump in the lake. Check out the video above.

For the record, Tony Romo won the event.

 

Spurs’ pick Chimezie Metu to miss time with fractured wrist

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Chimezie Metu showed some promise in the Summer League games he played for San Antonio, scoring 12.5 points a game on 55 percent shooting in Las Vegas, and 10.7 per game on 54 percent shooting in Salt Lake City. The second round pick of the Spurs (No. 49 overall) is raw and needs a lot of development, but he can get buckets. The potential is there.

That development is going to be on hold a while, as what was thought to be a sprained wrist has turned out to be a fracture.

From Tom Osborn of the San Antonio Express-News.

After an examination Saturday, the Spurs medical staff downgraded second-round pick Chimezie Metu’s left wrist injury from a sprain to a fracture, a league source said Saturday.

Metu was injured late in the Spurs’ 95-90 win over Washington on July 8 at the Las Vegas Summer League, when he landed awkwardly after leaping to catch a lob pass at the rim. The 6-foot-10 big man finished the game but was sidelined for the remainder of the schedule.

After undergoing X-rays at the Thomas & Mack Center, Metu was diagnosed with a sprain. But Spurs’ team doctors suspected a possible fracture, which was confirmed after Metu returned to San Antonio on Saturday.

Metu should be good to go by training camp. Metu is hoping his summer and training camp play will earn him a roster spot, although the Spurs tend not to sign second-round picks the year they were drafted (they tend to let them spend a year or two in the G-League or in Europe). A lot of his chances on making the roster depend on any other moves the Spurs make this summer and what their roster looks like come the fall.