Stephen Curry has developed an interest in golf, which is one of the reasons the loss hits closer to home for him. In a heartfelt message, he said:
“Mr. Lee Elder… one of my heroes… words don’t do justice to the impact you had on golf and the Black community. All I can say right now is thank you for blazing the trail. It’s on us to stay the course and keep going in your honor. Rest easy legend.”
As a young golfer, Curry has surely been impacted by the achievements of Lee Elder.
Elder, born in 1934, started to play professionally in 1959. Before then, he did menial jobs around the sport and worked as a caddy, developing his game while watching his clients. Over the years, he started to play under the tutelage of Ted Rhodes.
Being the first African-American to compete in the Masters Tournament in 1975, Elder had a huge impact on Curry. That’s why Curry thanked him for “blazing the trail.” Throughout his career, Elder had 16 wins: four in the PGA Tour, four in the PGA Tour Champions and four other championships.
Stephen Curry has sometimes contemplated playing golf professionally
If Curry retired from professional basketball today, he might spend most of his time golfing. Over the years, his interest in the game has continually grown.
Curry has a profile with the PGA Tour, which shows to an extent that golf is more than a pastime for him. The two-time NBA MVP is a competitor who seeks perfection, which is why he could develop into an elite golfer if he spent as much time practicing.
The NBA community knows the amount of work Curry has put in to develop his 3-point shot, making 43.3% in his career and helping him win three NBA titles with the Golden State Warriors.
Curry has contemplated what might have been if he ventured into golf instead of basketball.
“There was always that question,” Curry said. “If I had to put as much time into golf as I did basketball, could I have made it? We’ll never know, but it’s always competed in terms of my attention.”
Curry has competed in several golf tournaments, including celebrity games and competitions for charity. During the 2021 offseason, he used every opportunity he had to be around golf, even calling the Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits as an analyst.
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Curry’s last match was during the celebrity Edgewood-Tahoe tournament, where he joined his brother Seth and his father Dell, a former NBA player. His participation at the celebrity game in July marked his ninth at the tournament. He finished ninth, ahead of his brother (54th) and father (16th).