Steph Curry, PGA Tour targeting Bay Area public course as venue for possible Tour event
In recent months, the NBA star Steph Curry has made no secret of his hopes to host a PGA Tour event in the Bay Area at some point during the 2019-20 season.
The PGA Tour has also made no secret that it would love to see Curry play that role.
So both parties have that going for them.
What they haven’t made clear, though, is where, exactly, such an event would take place, and when, precisely, it would fall in an already jam-packed Tour calendar.
Now, some details may be coming to light.
A source familiar with talks around the deal told GOLF.com that Curry, his representatives and the Tour have zeroed in on a venue: the newly renovated South Course at Chuck Corica Golf Complex in Alameda, an island city neighboring Oakland, just across the bay from San Francisco.
Though no information was available on a specific date for the event, a seemingly natural time would be early October, after the season-opening Safeway Open, in Napa, when a number of big-name players are already scheduled to be in the area.
Curry’s agent, Jeff Austin, of Octagon, the sports and entertainment agency that would manage a Curry-hosted Tour event, did not respond immediately to questions seeking further information. A PGA Tour spokesman said that partnering with Curry on a tournament would be “an incredible opportunity,” but added, “we don’t have any news to report at this time, including potential host facilities or tournament dates.”
Still, it’s not hard to see why Corica Park would make good sense.
Aside from wanting to stay close to his Bay Area home, Curry, a mega-star with a man-of-the-people reputation, is said to have voiced a preference for staging the tournament at a public-access course, as opposed to an exclusive private venue. Chuck Corica checks that box.
The facility is also centrally located, in the heart of a major metropolitan area and ringed by the kind of infrastructure a golf tournament requires.
Another Bay Area course in the speculative running to hold the event was the upscale muni, TPC Harding Park, in San Francisco. But Harding is already slated to host the 2020 PGA Championship, making it contractually off-limits.
Chuck Corica has no such conflicts, and the golf it offers is more than up to snuff.
A 45-hole facility, with two 18-hole layouts and a nine-hole par-3 course, Chuck Corica once ranked among the busiest munis in the country, only to suffer through the same recent hardships faced by many public tracks from coast to coast, in the form of dwindling play and tattered course conditions.
But its fortunes have taken a sharp turn for the better since the Rees Jones-designed redo of the South Course, which reopened in June as a vastly improved layout inspired by the firm, fast courses of the Australian Sandbelt.
In early June, three days after his Golden State Warriors won their third NBA title in four years, Curry was among the first to take his hacks on the South Course, playing alongside his father, Del. Also in their group was George Kelley, a former Tour pro and CEO of Greenway Golf, the golf management company that spearheaded the renovation.
Kelley said he couldn’t comment on the possibility of a Curry-hosted Tour event coming to Corica Park. But he did say that Curry seemed to like the course. And why not? He shot a 71.
That happens to be the same score he carded two months later in the opening round of the Web.com tour’s Ellie Mae Classic, where he played on a sponsor’s exemption for the second year in a row.
Though he failed to make the cut in either of those appearances, Curry performed more than well enough to justify his participation, and his place in the field generated unprecedented buzz for a Web.com tour event.
Whether he would also peg it as the host of a PGA Tour event is uncertain. But there’s little doubt what his presence would do for fan interest.
A tournament at Chuck Corica would amount to a home game for Curry. If, as expected, it takes place next October, look for Warriors jerseys to outnumber collared shirts in the gallery.