Today Stephen Curry was given a sponsors exemption to the Ellie May Classic on the Web.com tour. The event will take place from Aug. 3 through Aug. 6 at TPC Stonebrae in Hayward, California.
Now there are a lot of thoughts about this that we can address and there are a lot of people out there that are upset about him getting an invite to play in the event. Many players that are looking at relying on sponsors exemptions have voiced their displeasure in Curry getting the invite.
Here is the deal. Sponsors of the event are allowed to ask who ever they want to play in the event. They are given a number of invites to ask players to show up. Almost all of those invites go to guys who have a chance to win the event if they play well and already have tour status. Sometimes they give one or two of them to local guys, top amateurs or mini-tour players who may play out of the host club and give them a chance to show what they are made of.
A couple years ago Lee McCoy was a player at Georgia and a resident at Innisbrook and was given a sponsors invite to play and finished T4. Annika played at Colonial on a sponsors invite at the displeasure of many PGA Tour Players.
Sponsors are looking to sell tickets to events because that is how they get their return for their investment. If Ellie Mae thinks that Curry will add spectators to the event on Thursday and Friday then more power to them for asking him to play. We are going to assume that The Golf Channel will be happy with Curry being in the field on Thursday and Friday for ratings.
Dads Say So if you want to try to qualify for a PGA Tour event you need to have a handicap of 4.0 or better or list yourself as a professional. Curry’s handicap is 2.2. If Ellie Mae wanted to invite Santa Claus and thought that he would sell tickets they have every right to as the sponsor of the event. If you are going to be critical of them for this remember, if you pay the money to sponsor an event you make the rules for sponsor invites. We hope that Curry doesn’t do a Happy Gilmore and play terrible. He does need to remember there are not any three pointers on the golf course.