American Century Championship
Friday, July 10, 2020
THE MODERATOR: Mr. Steph Curry is here to join us. This is your eighth year playing in the American Century Championship. 2017 was your best finish at fourth. There’s been a lot of guys this year talking about your chances and giving you some pretty good plaudits because they figured you had more time on your hands this offseason. Best finish was fourth in 2017. The oddsmakers have you at 18-to-1. I believe that’s the highest odds from active players out here.
STEPH CURRY: Respect.
Q. Take us through your round today, if you would, and what it feels like to be back in Tahoe.
STEPH CURRY: It’s awesome to be back here. Obviously all the things that are going on in our country and our world, just to be able to play golf and compete. Obviously no fans. It’s a little different vibe. It’s way too quiet. But once you get over that, it’s just kind of playing golf like usual. And I enjoyed it. Got off to a terrible start the first hole. I tried to go for the home run shot, and it didn’t pan out. Just grinded the rest of the way.
So excited about hopefully going — you said low — going high tomorrow and put myself back in there. I don’t think I lost on the first day. I’ve just got to play a little bit better.
Q. You’ve been very outspoken and active with social injustice matters. Obviously you’ve got a pair of shoes on that is sending a message to people. Would you like to tell us a little bit about that.
STEPH CURRY: Absolutely. Obviously shining a light on Breonna Taylor, demanding and praying and wishing for justice for her and her family. And anytime you have an opportunity to be on a stage or a platform to raise awareness and to continue the conversation that’s going on in our country, I’m all for that, and send these to the Black Lives Matter organization and hopefully raise a lot of money for the amazing work that they’re doing.
And we all have roles to play in terms of changing the racial climate in our country. And this is definitely more than just a moment that we’re feeling. And hopefully this is a very small gesture, but hopefully the money goes a long way. And hopefully they continue the conversation of what needs to change all the way around.
Q. So you’re donating the shoes; is that in raising funds that way?
STEPH CURRY: Black Lives Matter will get them and hopefully have an auction and raise a lot of money for what they’re doing.
Q. You mentioned it was way too quiet out there. So it’s like normal golf. But when you’re here, you’re so used to raucous, loud behavior. Is it more difficult to play quiet here?
STEPH CURRY: A little bit. I guess when you’re walking, you’re in tournament mode. And for us, we play a lot of golf, but you don’t get a lot of opportunities to play competitively like this. So the first six holes was definitely different because you’re kind of pressing, trying to stay in the moment, but you’re so familiar to the sights and sounds. And they’re just a little different.
So I guess, at the end of the day, we had to hopefully — our conversation in our group was trying to keep, stay engaged, keep the energy up. But it was definitely an adjustment. I think tomorrow will be a little bit better in terms of getting settled in.
Thankfully the boats that are out there, in a very socially distant space, they brought a little noise down the last three holes.
Q. And early on anyway it looks like dad’s got a slight lead on you. Have you guys discussed what’s going on this year yet?
STEPH CURRY: I negotiated, I have to spot him six points. So I’ve got some work to do. But hopefully tomorrow I can chase the ladder a little bit and put some pressure on him. He’s playing well right now. And he showed it obviously today.
So got my work cut out for me, but it’s always fun to play with him, play with Aaron, two great guys that know how to hit the golf ball.
Q. I think he played well last year; he’s taking this seriously now.
STEPH CURRY: Absolutely. He’s a competitor.
Q. What’s at stake this year; have you guys determined?
STEPH CURRY: Not yet. It’s a carryover from his karaoke bet last year. But we won’t be able to do that. Obviously I’m holding it in my back pocket. I’m playing with house money right now. We’ll see.
Q. Obviously not the season you wanted with the Warriors this year, but what gives you hope that things can turn around next season?
STEPH CURRY: We still have a great core. We have an understanding of who we are, like you said it was a crazy year. My hand injury. Klay being out all year. And Draymond in and out of the lineup with injuries all year. A lot of new young guys. It’s definitely different. But this could be a blessing in disguise in terms of this next three-, four-year run we want to have, get rested, get healthy. We’ll obviously be watching Orlando and taking all that in.
But come next season, wherever that starts, we’ve got to be ready. Had a long seven years. Nice to get a little refresh.
Q. Why was it important to you to sponsor the Howard University golf team and what do you hope from that endeavor?
STEPH CURRY: It’s something that slapped me across the face that I didn’t have a strategy around it. I went to Howard to debut their screening of a documentary we made called “Emmanuel,” and I talked to a lot of students there after the screening, and they had a lot of interest and passions.
I talked to this student named Otis Ferguson IV, and he told me how much golf means to him, how much just the opportunity to play. He was trying to put together a club team. And the idea came just from that.
I heard what he had to say, and I was like what can we do to bring that Division I program back, men’s and women’s, and create scholarships, because you know how great the game of golf is; we want to continue to create access and opportunity, not just playing but in the business of golf, too.
So hopefully this can be a kind of a funnel for younger kids to think I can either go play Division I golf at a HBCU and have something to kind of look forward to. But even now the student-athletes that we have on the team hopefully this fall will take advantage of that opportunity as well. Excited about that. Hopefully they have a really good run.
Q. You said you went for the home run shot on 1. I think I saw you, like, change clubs or something. Was the original plan to play it safe?
STEPH CURRY: No, I was just figuring out how aggressive I wanted to be the whole time. I got a new caddie this week. I don’t know if he was ready to pull a veto on the first hole. So he let me just get it out of the way. You’re going to make a double at some point in the tournament. So I got it out of the way on the first hole and grinded the rest of the way. So no harm, no foul. Tomorrow hopefully give myself a chance to make it interesting at the top of the leaderboard knowing you’ve got guys going low, I think Kyle wins with 25 and Romo is probably coming in, Mark Mulder, the usuals. I want to be in that group come Sunday.
Q. Looks like your love affair with No. 18 continues. Birdied today, wasn’t it? Did you birdie 18?
STEPH CURRY: It’s been four rounds in a row probably, eagle, eagle, birdie, birdie. Can I just play that hole 18 times and call it even?
Q. That would help. You’re at 14 points right now, in a tie for 13th. After one day you’re in the hunt. What do you think it’s going to take for you to get back in this thing to where you’re comfortable? You’ve played —
STEPH CURRY: Probably going to need like 24, 25 at least tomorrow, which obviously it’s doable. Somebody — Kyle showed it already. That probably gives you a chance to be within earshot going into Sunday. That’s all I want, just a chance to play some meaningful holes on Sunday. I started to hit the ball a little bit better as the round went on.
Q. Obviously you’ve been extremely successful in your basketball career, being a great athlete, golf. What would it mean to you to win this event?
STEPH CURRY: I’m trying really hard. Just for the active guys, I don’t know how many active athletes that are here. But I’m pretty sure I don’t think one’s won before. You may have to correct me on that one. But even for basketball players, this would be the first one to win from our sport.
So that would mean a lot. It’s not obviously just the win but how much fun I have up here and the guys you get to compete against. So we’ve got some work to do.
Q. One of the big social media campaigns out here you see at the #playitACC, a trick shot campaign playing off the trick shot you did. So share that trick shot you did and how many times did it take; how much fun was it; was it to do at home while you’re doing it?
STEPH CURRY: You’re not going to believe it but the first time I did it was back in March when quarantine started, I was extremely bored. I found my way to the front door. But only took me two shots. And then I tried to do it again and took me about 50 and I gave up. I came back for Jimmy Kimmel, took me a minute to get it on live TV. So that was solid. Pressure shot. But hopefully everybody has creativity coming out using all the different props and stuff, just having fun with it.
Q. As far as the charities this year, Steph, the entire purse is being donated to the different charities involved with the event, how good does that feel for all the players, do you think?
STEPH CURRY: Oh, it feels great. We know we come up here, usually it’s a purse to play for; but obviously with everything going on, the ability to come up here and play golf and know that — I don’t know what the amount is — but it’s all going to worthy causes that will impact lives, and we get to do it by being out here playing golf, being on a stage. Pretty awesome to be a part of that.
It’s a huge compliment to American Century, NBC, everybody, for doing what they could to get the tournament even possible to go this week. And hopefully that money goes a long way.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports