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Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves fell short of qualifying for a golf event on the Korn Ferry Tour. The third-year NBA veteran shot a 76 at Willow Creek Golf Club in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Monday. Reaves, 25, missed qualifying for the Knoxville Open by 11 strokes.

Lakers’ Austin Reaves feels putting is a weakness after falling short of qualifying for the Korn Ferry Tour

“You can’t really compare anything to it,” Reaves told PGATour.com. “I was nervous, I will say that, but it was a lot of fun. I was on the first tee shaking a little bit, didn’t hit a good ball, but other than that, it was a lot of fun to play some competitive golf.”

Reaves is an avid golfer who hadn’t played a competitive event since high school. He told Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times that his plan to compete came together quickly. In other words, the 6-foot-5 shooting guard didn’t have enough time to practice.


“I was laying on the couch the other day and I was bored, and I called [my friend Trent Swaim] and said, ‘Find me a Monday qualifier around here,'” Reaves said.

He said his short game, such as his putting, made the difference in shooting a better score.

Reaves said he was coming off his first 67 and had unrealistic expectations.

Reaves gave his overall performance a B-minus

Hillbilly Kobe birdied his first hole, but his front nine included three straight bogeys. Although he fell short of qualifying, he said it was a great learning experience. Overall, he said he’d give himself a B-minus.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry won the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe last summer with an eagle putt on the final hole. However, not everyone is a two-sport athlete.

Reaves is at his best on the basketball court, not with a golf driver in his hands. In 82 games (57 starts) with the Lakers in the 2023-24 season, he averaged career highs of 15.9 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 32.1 minutes per game.

Last July, Reaves signed a four-year, $56 million contract extension with the Lakers. His new deal includes a 2026-27 player option worth $14.89 million.