Stephen Curry leads field at American Century Championship

Steph Curry sits atop the leaderboard after one round of play at the American Century Championship
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry leads the field after one round of play at the American Century Championship.

Curry fired a 3-under-par 69 at the 6,709-yard Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course to finish with 27 points using the Modified Stableford scoring format.

“Historically for me I get off to slow starts and get better as the weekend goes on,” said Curry following Friday’s round. “Whether it’s basketball, whether it’s getting into the tournament vibe or whatever it is, but I knew if I could just get off to a good start, that I’d have a little bit more fun out there. And the three-hole stretch at the beginning, went birdie-birdie-eagle and was feeling good. Didn’t feel the nerves or anxious or anything.”

Curry would go on to double bogey the sixth hole, but bounced back with a pair of birdies on the back nine to finish with the second best round he’s had at the tournament.

“Yeah, like I said, I’ve had rounds on Sunday where I’ve played pretty well and started to peak but I’m out of contention and all that,” said Curry. “So this is a very new and better experience … I know there’s a lot of golf left. Not getting too ahead of myself, but it is nice to be in it, be with a lead and kind of settle in tomorrow and have some fun.”

Dallas Stars winger Joe Pavelski sits in second place with 23 points. Pavelski was a runner-up at last year’s tournament, losing in playoff to former NFL quarterback Tony Romo.

“Yeah, I mean, you get that close, you want to give yourself a chance to get back there,” said Pavelski. “Unfinished business? Obviously you’re trying to win this, haven’t done that yet. But definitely could take a little bit of confidence, I think, from that last round.”

Anaheim Ducks left wing Alex Killorn sits in third place with 21 points, followed by TV host Bret Baier in fourth with 20 points, and NFL greats Marshall Faulk and Brian Urlacher in a tie for fifth place with 19 points.

Betting favorites struggled in the first round. Defending champion and tournament favorite, Romo, sits in a tie for 13th with 16 points. Former tennis pro and 2020 winner Mardy Fish is in a tie for seventh place with 18 points. Former MLB pitcher and three-time champion Mark Mulder finished with 10 points and is tied for 31st.

One of the most popular bets at Caesars Sportsbook this weekend is whether NBA legend Charles Barkley can finish in the top 70 of the 93-player field. Barkley finished the round with -8 points and sits in 79th place.

“(Barkley’s) right there, gotta go play well,” said Curry, who has joked throughout the week about Barkley’s chances of finishing in the top 70. “We’re both trying to accomplish our goals this week. Let’s get it done.”

The second round of the American Century Championship will begin Saturday at 7:36 a.m.

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