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When the Improbable Happens, Again

by | Jul 16, 2023

An absolutely joyous Steph Curry runs down the 12th hole at the American Century Championship after a hole-in-one. [screenshot from]

There is no hiding Davidson’s love for Steph Curry. Last year when the college held the Curry for Three event in August, neighbors created bedsheet signs celebrating the big events for the local phenom. A standing room only crowd filled Belk Arena as Curry received his diploma, had his jersey and number retired, and was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

Off the court, it has also been fun to watch Steph competing at his hobby – golf. The onetime high school golfer has continued playing. Beyond his exploits on the course, he has used his connection to golf to be the driving force behind golf at one of the premiere HBCUs in the country. He has endowed the men’s and women’s golf teams at Howard University. You can read more here.

For the past 10 years, Steph has participated in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament held at Edgewood Tahoe on the south shores of Lake Tahoe. The tournament uses the modified Stableford system and consists of three rounds of play.

Saturday, viewers of the made for TV tournament were treated to an amazing and memorable golf shot. Steph stepped up to the tee at the seventh hole and pulled out his wedge to attempt a 152-yard shot.

It marked the first hole-in-one at #7 in the history of the tournament, and only the second in Curry’s golfing career.

If anyone was wondering if the 4-time NBA MVP would be calm, cool, and collected following the shot, think again. He jumped for joy, throwing his hat in the air, and ran the 143-yards to the green.

An intent Steph Curry watches the flight of his ball at the 12th hole. [screenshot from]

Watch it here.

His almost childlike joy and enthusiasm were refreshing to watch.

Several news outlets were suggesting that Steph had “broken the internet” with the ace, and “Steph Curry hole-in-one” quickly topped the list of Google searches.

That amazing shot, coupled with great play the rest of the day, left Curry sitting at the top of the leaderboard at the end the second of three-rounds.

Now, that might have been it. Steph Curry makes a hole-in-one, end of story. But wait, what about the final round on Sunday?

Well, the hole-in-one on Saturday and other good shots had put Steph Curry at the top of the leaderboard and in the final group for Sunday play. He played with former tennis player Mardy Fish, a previous winner of the American Century Championship, and hockey player Joe Pavelski.

He started the round with a 3-shot lead over both Fish and Pavelski. However, with the scoring system, it wasn’t a comfortable lead. And while Steph extended the lead in the early holes on Sunday, Fish took the lead from Steph on the back nine and he held a 3-stroke advantage when the group walked up to the tee at #18.

Steph hoisting the American Century Championship trophy. [screenshot from the tournament website]

When the tournament started, the bookmakers put the odds at 12:1 for a Curry “W.” He defied the odds, sinking a 20-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole to win the championship. Fish birdied the hole and finished two shots behind Steph.

Just like the oddsmakers who didn’t think the “baby-faced assassin” was ready for Division I college ball, much less the NBA, those golf oddsmakers are probably re-thinking their math.

Since the event has also been a family event for team Curry, with Steph playing the first round with brother Seth and dad Dell, the oddsmakers had Dell at 85:1 and Seth at 350:1. Leading in the odds markers’ lineup were:

  • Tony Romo 5:2
  • Mardy Fish 11:4
  • Mark Mulder 5:1
  • Annika Sorenstam 8:1
  • John Smoltz 8:1
  • Joe Pavelski 8:1

And in case you are wondering who was the longest of long shots, it might not come as a surprise that Charles Barkley was 7500:1.

If you missed this year’s tournament, make sure to look for the 2024 event when that underrated former Davidson Wildcat will hopefully be returning to the shores of Lake Tahoe to defend his ACC title. And yes, by ACC we meant American Century Championship, not Atlantic Coast Conference. 


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