Natural sporting ability is not something that everyone is blessed with but NBA player Stephen Curry has it in absolute abundance, as he proved at the weekend by winning the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.
Not only did Curry clinch the title with an eagle (two under par) on the 18th in Sunday’s final round, the Golden State Warriors player enthralled the crowd on Saturday by hitting a hole-in-one.
The fans at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course (Nevada) went wild at the par-three seventh on Saturday as Curry beautifully struck the ball on the 152-yard hole, for the second hole-in-one of his career.
Curry demonstrated his athleticism by sprinting all the way to the green and hitting the flag in celebration, much to the delight of the spectators. His celebration at winning the tournament was also iconic as he ran to embrace his wife Ayesha after eagling the 18th.
She and the couple’s five year-old son Canon had driven 200 miles to watch him that day after hearing about his Saturday hole-in-one. It was truly a family affair for Curry as his younger brother Seth – also an NBA player – and their father Dell, who is a former NBA player himself, were both playing in the tournament too. All-round sporting brilliance clearly runs in the Curry genes.
The Curry crew were therefore able to celebrate Steph’s triumph together on Sunday evening, after he had secured the $125,000 First Prize. A four-time NBA winner, Curry has been playing golf since he was 10 years-old and is known to be truly golf-mad, watching the sport religiously on television when he is at home.
When he is not training with the Golden State Warriors or representing them in the NBA he plays as much golf as his schedule permits, playing off a highly respectable +1 handicap.
Describing his hole-in-one the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player stated, “That was wild. It was good contact, right at the stick, but even if you’re painting the flag and it looks good, you never really expect it to go in. I just saw a bunch of hands go up, and then you just kind of black out.”
Curry, who was been playing in the NBA since 2009, is widely considered the greatest shooter in the history of basketball and one of the best players in the history of the sport, inspiring the next generation of young players to come through. Had he not been a professional basketball player his superb technical level on the golf course suggests he could have forged a career in pro golf.
The 35 year-old said of his American Century Celebrity Tournament success, “It was the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course.” It is the first time he has won a tournament in his golf career, but it was thoroughly deserved as he topped the leader-board on all three days of the Lake Tahoe event.
Retired NBA player and former head coach of the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Clippers Vinny Del Negro was the winner of the American Century Championship in 2021. Canadian Ice hockey legend Mario Lemieux was the winner of the 1998 title.
Former Melrose Place actor Jack Wagner is the only player without a background in professional sports to have won the prestigious tournament, having clinched the title in 2006 and 2011.