Golden State Warriors MVP Stephen Curry is back—sort of.
Holey Moley II: The Sequel, executively produced by Curry, debuted Thursday night on ABC. The first season of the miniature golf competition show also featured Curry as a "resident golf pro" as three contestants per episode navigated an outrageous golf course.
Season 1 averaged 3.2 million viewers per episode, according to Variety's Will Thorne, and Season 2 was advertised as "extreme-ier":
The hour-long premiere episode delivered on that promise.
"Here at Holey Moley, we're all about thinking big," co-host and comedian Rob Riggle said in the opening monologue, "but before we can do that, we need to think mini. You're looking at 18 holes of pure ingenuity."
Riggle introduced new holes Putt the Plank, Dragons Breath and Uranus before ESPN commentator and co-host Joe Tessitore as well as an animated version of Curry joined the broadcast to explain how the competition will work in Season 2.
The first round has eight golfers facing off in four head-to-head matchups with the winners moving on to a sudden-death second round. The final round pits the night's two best putters against each other for the golden putter, the Holey Moley plaid jacket and a berth in the season finale to compete for $250,000.
Golf course owner Erik from Lincoln, Nebraska, took the green first on Dragons Breath against a San Francisco native named Jack:
Jack was set on fire, which caused Riggle to offer "Lawsuit" as an alternative hole name for Dragons Breath, but his dramatic efforts were for naught as Erik prevailed to the second round.
Matthew from Richmond, Virginia, and Marni from Lititz, Pennsylvania, then took on the "Polecano" hole. Matthew reasoned that his day job as a Great White Shark scientist made him fearless. Marni wanted to win for all working moms, and she topped Matthew.
The Beaver Creek hole hosted a realtor named Ava from Scottsdale, Arizona, against a mini golf cultural ambassador named Stephanie from Montreal. Stephanie employed her signature "wiggle" before her opening putt but landed in the trap. However, the 27-year-old was able to avoid a stroke penalty by making it across the log roll.
Ava also just barely made it across the log roll and ultimately ousted Stephanie from the field.
The first round concluded with Putt the Plank featuring actor Jon Lovitz as the hole's resident pirate. "What happened to my career?" Lovitz joked. The Primetime Emmy Award nominee welcomed competitors Matt, a former cheerleader, and Tressa, a "motivational talk show host."
Lovitz, blinded by eye patches, chipped Matt and Tressa's respective golf balls over shark-infested waters to the green to determine where each player would putt from. But first, they had to walk the plank and jump onto floating sharks to make it to the green.
Matt remained dry, but Tressa was given a stroke penalty for splashing into the water. It was too much for her to overcome, and Matt moved on to the second round.
The second round opened with Double Dutch Courage—a fan-favorite hole from Season 1—that requires players to putt the ball through a giant windmill before having to cleanly run through it themselves.
Ava and Marni were matched up against each other. Marni was slammed by the mill—a hit Riggle likened to an NHL hip check—into the water for a stroke penalty. Ava was hesitant to run through the spinning windmill after watching Marni and opted to jump into the water and accept the stroke penalty.
Ava's nerves followed her to the green, which Marni took advantage of with a 15-foot putt to advance to the final round.
Erik and Matt duked it out on Hole No. 2 for the chance to meet 20-year mini golf veteran Marni in the final. Matt's tee shot fell into the water, and he ended up there shortly after when characters jumped out of porta potties and kicked him. Erik was also thrown into the water to even the field. Matt again putted into the pond, allowing Erik to survive the hole.
The episode culminated in Frankenputt. Erik and Marni were shocked through an ankle bracelet twice for missing their respective tee shots, but Erik kept his cool to win the season premiere.
Episode 2 will tee off at 9 p.m. ET on ABC next Thursday.