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Straka Brothers Savor Sepp’s Championship Debut

June 13, 2019 - 7:13 PM
Sepp Straka posted a 3-under 68 in his first competitive U.S. Open round. (USGA/Darren Carroll)

Sam Straka enjoyed his tour around Pebble Beach Golf Links Thursday morning during the opening round of the 119th U.S. Open. "Yeah, that was fun," said the former University of Georgia golfer. And he never hit a shot. Sam watched his twin brother Sepp fire an opening 3-under-par 68 and put his name on the leader board next to the likes of U.S. Open champions Rory McIlroy and Martin Kaymer in his debut in the championship. Ranked 359th in the world, Sepp is one of the big surprises of the first round at Pebble Beach, given his struggles this season on the PGA Tour. He has missed the cut in nine of his 16 starts, including earlier this year at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Also a product of the University of Georgia, Sepp, 26, is playing in the championship thanks to winning co-medalist honors at sectional qualifying in Canada on June 3. "I hit a lot of good shots out there. It was a blast," said Sepp, who is 2 minutes younger than Sam. The brothers were born in Vienna, Austria, and moved to Valdosta, Ga., at age 14 with their family. "You know, no shot is easy out here. Bogey is waiting right around the corner. It's always good to play well, but especially out here. It's just the first round of the U.S. Open, so I'm trying not to get too excited." His brother was excited enough for him.