Straka’s milestone for Austria’s golf sport

Straka’s milestone for Austria’s golf sport


Sepp Straka has written another chapter of Austrian golf history: the only red-white-red champion on the traditional PGA Tour to date – the 30-year-old Viennese won the Honda Classic in 2022 – now also shone at major level. The seventh place at the PGA Championship in Rochester topped everything that had come before and flushed a whopping prize money of 555,000 US dollars into the cash register.

It goes without saying that the reporters flocked to the man who also has US citizenship and crowned the prestigious event with a formidable final round and 65 strokes (no other tournament player had less). Straka improved in the world rankings from 40th to 34th place and strongly recommended himself for the Ryder Cup, which will take place this year from September 29th to October 1st in Rome. “That’s definitely one of my goals, but I have to be consistent and play my best golf for that,” said Straka, who scored numerous bonus points in team captain Luke’s notepad as the second-best European (behind second-placed Norwegian Viktor Hovland) at the PGA Championship Donald collected.

Still room for improvement

Now it’s time to keep at it. The next majors are casting their shadows: The US Open will take place in Los Angeles from June 15th to 18th, the British Open will be in Liverpool from July 13th to 16th. Straka is far from having reached its zenith, despite the excellent result, the self-critical athlete found one or two hairs in the soup.

“Basically, I’m really happy about my performance, but on Thursday I played one of my worst putting rounds in a long time. In the meantime, the rain has made it brutal,” explained Straka: “The main thing is to keep improving my golf game. I think that the successes will follow.”

Not only his American fan base likes to hear that. “It’s nice to always get huge support from Austria. It’s really cool to watch from a distance how golf is really growing in such a small country and how many people are playing now,” said Straka.

He’s a big part of that as a global role model that has cemented his red-white-red number one status.

Fondness for Coca Cola

Incidentally, Straka’s nickname is “Ox” (in German ox), which a golf coach at the University of Georgia gave him based on the film “I think a moose is kissing me” from the 1980s. In this classic, John Candy plays a funny but slightly overweight soldier.

“When I was a student, I drank a few beers and ate well every now and then,” recalls Straka, who has a degree in business administration. As a full professional (he has been since 2016), the athlete, who lives in Birmingham/Alabama with his wife Paige, works conscientiously on his fitness, only with Coca Cola does he get weak.

Straka, whose twin brother Sam was also on the golf team at the university in Georgia, is considered a big football fan and his heart beats for the Atlanta Falcons. At the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Sepp Straka held up the red-white-red flag, he was on course for a medal for a long time and ultimately finished tenth. In the golf scene, however, the PGA Championship enjoys a higher status. Also financially. Straka’s total prize money is $10.227 million.

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