Jacksonville Sports Day

GOLF: Berger, Koepka Help United States to Ryder Cup Win

Photo Courtesy FSU Sports Information

TALLAHASSEE – Florida State Men’s Golf Alums Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger played roles in the United States’ rout over Europe in the 2020 Ryder Cup held this past weekend at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wis.

Berger contributed two points in three matches played in his first Ryder Cup experience, winning his Sunday singles match vs. Matthew Fitzpatrick 1UP to give the United States their 19th and final point. The U.S. won the Ryder Cup 19-9 overall.

Koepka won his second Ryder Cup in three appearances, also adding two points to the U.S. total in four matches played. Koepka teamed with Berger to win the Friday morning foursome match and defeated Bernd Wiesberger 2&1 in Sunday singles.

In the Friday morning foursome, Koepka and Berger became the first duo from the same university to win in a Ryder Cup pairing since Curtis Strange and Jay Haas did the same thing at the 1983 Ryder Cup for the U.S. Their victory over Lee Westwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, 2&1, was the first time a collegiate duo was in the same Ryder Cup pairing since Strange and Haas in 1995 (both players attended Wake Forest).

For his career, Koepka is now 6-5-1 overall at the Ryder Cup, making a splash with a 3-1-0 overall record at the 2016 event at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, as a rookie. Only Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth were on that Ryder Cup team as well as the 2020 group.

Koepka, who attended FSU from 2008-12, loved the culture that the United States displayed and felt it was a key part of winning this year’s Ryder Cup.

“It’s a different group of guys,” Koepka said after the win. “It’s a lot more fun than years past. It’s a very close-knit group of guys. Everybody is a bit younger and everybody has known each other for 15-plus years, it feels like.”

Berger, who played at FSU from 2011-13, is now the fourth Seminole to earn a Ryder Cup title. As the captain of the United States team in 2008, Paul Azinger guided the team to a 16.5-11.5 win over Europe at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., snapping Europe’s win streak that lasted through the 2002, 2004 and 2006 events.

The other Seminole who won multiple Ryder Cups was Hubert Green, a three-time participant who was victorious in 1977 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes and 1979 at The Greenbrier in West Virginia.

The two Seminoles combined to earn nearly $10 million in the 2020-21 PGA Tour season. Berger enjoyed a season where he earned eight Top 10 finishes and won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on Feb. 14. Koepka also had eight Top 10 finishes and won the Waste Management Phoenix Open, which was the same event he won his first PGA Tour event at in 2015.

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