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July 13, 2018

Mark Rypien

Steph Curry

Stateline, Nevada

THE MODERATOR: We have our early leaders: Mark Rypien, 21 points, and Steph Curry, 18 points. Nice first round. Way to start. Mark Rypien, let's start with you, 21 points. Take us through your round and let us know how it went out there.

MARK RYPIEN: Pretty boring the first nine holes. I think I hit eight greens, one 3-putt. And couldn't get up-and-down on a par-3, had seven points. Hit a good shot out of the bunker at 10, made birdie. Missed a three-footer at 12 for birdie and birdied 14 and birdied 18 and played solid.

Only had three bogeys on the card and three birdies for even par and, shoot, even par here -- I think one great thing -- just chatting here recently with Steph, the greens are really firm.

And shots you think were going to be really receptive, now you've got 15-foot downhill putts. Then you become defensive on this golf course instead of trying to roll it firm and trying to make a lot of birdies. That's why you didn't see a lot of birdies today.

Q. Pretty good opening round for you today, Steph, in this tournament. Take us through your round, how it felt out there, what was the confidence level throughout the day?
STEPH CURRY: Confidence was high. It's always those first, I'll call it, six holes where your adrenalin is rushing and tournament golf experience again. Getting through that was solid. I hit the ball pretty well. Just gotta figure out how to putt.

And 18 points, probably my best start in this tournament, which within earshot of guys I played a little better today. It should be a fun weekend. Like Mark says, it's pretty competitive.

There's a lot of guys within, however many, five points of the lead so anything can happen this weekend.

Q. Yeah, we see that Smoltz is at 21 points as well and Pavelski is still out on the golf course with 21 points with two or three holes left to play.
MARK RYPIEN: Dilfer has 22, with two holes to play also.

Q. For both you guys, what were certain adjustments you have to make to keep this rolling for day two?
STEPH CURRY: For me, I just gotta make putts. I think I missed three putts within five feet and, 3-putted 3 green. If I can figure it out, keep hitting it like I am, give yourself scoring opportunities, hopefully should turn it around.

That's one thing hard to simulate when you're playing elsewhere is that there's little nerves when you're standing over those five-footers and you're really grinding. Just work that out and hopefully keep hitting good shots.

Q. Steph, you said this is your best first round here and you had mentioned before usually it's the first day or so of knocking the cobwebs off. Did last year's experience in pro golf, did that help you kind of get ready for something like this?
STEPH CURRY: Maybe a little bit. It's almost a year ago, so it's kind of hard to put yourself back into that mode. But definitely when you test your nerves in a game that I play a lot but don't get into these kind of environments very often, you can always kind of fall back to certain memories for sure, but every round you play, every shot you take is new, and that's the beauty of golf. You gotta kind of stay in the moment and that's the best part about it.

Q. Mark, can you give an evaluation of Steph's game, what you've seen of him, his swing?
MARK RYPIEN: Three years ago when he first played the tournament, who is Steph Curry, you're a golfer? And he goes, yeah, I've played a little bit of golf, Mark.

28 points last year, let's not forget, that's 5-under. Shoot 67 out here on these greens is -- that's playing your ball. And there's the one thing that in 28 years of playing this golf course, poa annua greens, is you can't be aggressive on putts.

If you are and you've got three-, four-footer downhill for par, you're not hitting it but maybe three, four feet. And you're trying to -- yeah, and you're trying to die it in a hole.

Because you do not want to give away points. The year I won, I 3-putted ones and I didn't give away any points. And I think that's the key to winning here is not giving away two.

And if you hit a green and you 3-putt or you miss a green and chip up to 10 feet above the hole, you're basically lagging. You're not looking to make it.

I think that's advice, not really advice, but becomes kind of human nature when you play this golf course, because 5-, 10-, 15-foot birdie putts, they're not guaranteed.

I had three-foot birdie putts. I had three-footer at 12, I didn't even come close to the hole. I had five feet coming back for par. And so you become really defensive, and it's just fun, though, to compete and to compete with guys like Steph and all the guys that, you know, you watch in a particular entertainment or sport and really appreciate what they do on the golf course.

Q. Steph, is it easier to kind of do what you've done in the past before is sneak up on them, the last couple of days, or is it going to be easier to play from near the top of the leaderboard now?
STEPH CURRY: I don't know. I've never been, like, this close to the lead after the first day. So I think five years ago after the second round when I was leading and that was an eye-opening experience trying to play with a lead and hearing roars in front of you and knowing you still gotta hit some good shots and keep your foot on the gas pedal.

So I think tomorrow, more of the same, just have confidence out there, hit shots that you want to hit. And like Mark said, you've got to be a little cautious on the greens. But if you have those opportunities when you're putting uphill, you have to take advantage of them, keep the momentum of your round going. And I think that's the key.

Q. Hey, Ryp, you've won this a couple times, what's the feeling going into the second round? You've near the top the two times that you've won. So how does it feel -- I mean, any different thoughts going into round two?
MARK RYPIEN: Round two puts you in position for Sunday. Steph hit the nail on the head. Unfortunately, you scoreboard watch, you know? You don't realize if you're in the last group, they're four or five, six holes ahead of you.

You think to yourself, gosh, that's a couple pars and a birdie and I'll be ahead of them. So I think it's human nature to look at the scoreboard, but it's also tomorrow's a day not necessarily to think about making every putt that you get up there for birdie; it's basically put up a good score, get yourself in somewhat of a moving position to have a shot and play like Steph did last year on the third day.

Q. You've both talked about how fast the greens are, what do you think they were running today?
STEPH CURRY: Seemed like the downhill ones were running like 15. (Laughter) just trembling over them trying not to hit them too hard. But probably around 12 and a half, 13, somewhere in there. But like with the firmness of the greens, you're rarely below the hole on your approach shot.

So that's the difference. That 12 and a half, 13 can just be treacherous all day when you're hitting downhill and downhill putts and trying to be safe with them and cautious and trying to lag on them. So they're fast.

Q. I know it's only after day one, Mark, you've won this twice, what would it mean to you to win this a third time?
MARK RYPIEN: I'm 55. So Father Time is not in my favor. I'd like to pass the torch to some of these young guys. And I know Steph, he's been so successful in what he's done on the basketball court and obviously to add something like this to his trophy case would be pretty cool.

But I don't have many more years playing this quality of golf. And so I'm going to try to take advantage of it as much as I can and compete against these young guys. I don't hit it out of my shadow anymore. But it still goes left to right. If you hit it left to right out of here, you have a good chance.

Q. Steph, what would it mean to you to win this, only one active player has won this, that was Mario Lemieux back in 1998?
STEPH CURRY: I didn't know that, too. I thought it hadn't happened yet. So for, like you said, to win this tournament with the talent that's out here and the competitive nature, guys that have been successful in their sports and their industries, and brought that nature to the golf course, it would mean a lot. I guess, I would say I don't think a basketball player has won before. So that would be pretty special. Is that right? That's accurate?

Q. That's correct.
STEPH CURRY: That would be pretty cool. So it is kind of cool to see the amount of NBA guys we have out here, my dad, Ray Allen, Vince Carter, Deron Williams and John Smoltz, Smoltz, did you play a little bit?

And Kyle Lowry, trying to get more of those guys out here to represent the league and NBA and win this tournament, it would be pretty crazy.

Q. I'm just curious if you've seen Mark Mulder's score, I think he's only like plus four, plus five after 15. Does that surprise you and how does that change things maybe over the weekend?
MARK RYPIEN: Is he hurt? I also saw his second shot at 16, he's 10 feet below the hole for eagle. You go eagle, birdie, eagle, that's 15 points and you're right back there again.

I was very shocked to see that he was sitting at four after 15. Probably be seven to 10, gets into double figures and he has a big weekend. Never know with him, he can still play.

STEPH CURRY: I mean, same. He's obviously hit the three-peat which I hope to say next year coming here that I'm a three-peat champion of the NBA. But, yeah, it's surprising but like there's a lot of golf left. 36 holes to play and anything can happen.

Q. And you guys watched the leaderboard of the guys who are within those kind of five points of you, who scares you the most?
STEPH CURRY: For me, the guys that have won before. Mark included, obviously. Kind of an experience that we've had with the Warriors once you get over the hump that first time, it's kind of -- you know you've convinced yourself that you can do it. You've proven you can do it and that confidence is beaming through you. I don't think -- speaking for Mark -- I don't think you get rattled in that situation.

I know every year is different. But when you hold that trophy, you carry that momentum. And those guys that have won, pretty scary.

MARK RYPIEN: I think guys like Smoltz playing well, Steph's playing well. These are guys who play consistently well here. Pavelski, every since he got here on this property has played well. Trent Dilfer is playing real well. Obviously Tony Romo has won an amateur tournament. John qualified for the U.S. Senior Open.

So today is -- and tomorrow and the next two days those guys are as much a factor as Mark, even though Mark's probably only going to get into double digits, I still consider him a guy that can run a couple 30s at you and make a push. But it should be a fun weekend.

Q. Mark, I've heard you sing Piano Man with Artie. What did you do last night?
MARK RYPIEN: Rascal Flatts played for me, and I sang -- I wanted to get the ladies and their husbands and everyone, they come out here and the guys are playing golf, want to get everyone together and snuggle up. So I wrote a song 40 years ago for Eric Clapton called Wonderful Tonight. I don't know if you guys heard of it.

Q. You wrote that?
MARK RYPIEN: No, just kidding. (Laughter) Don't buy all the BS I have.

Q. You're sitting next to Steph who has a lot of talent, I figure hey --
MARK RYPIEN: I did sing Wonderful Tonight, yes. But I couldn't believe -- what was more interesting was two white guys doing rap. I mean, Jeremy Roenick did Funky Cold Medina. And Bret Baier did -- come on which one did he do, party something?

Q. Bret Baier?
MARK RYPIEN: I don't know. Anyways, they rapped but they're really good. And they unseated maybe the best singer in the group was Alfonso, who is, speaking of two-time champions of karaoke, it was Alfonso. He got upset yesterday.


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