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Oh, brother — Sepp Straka changes up his caddie for the Tokyo Olympics

·3 min read

After narrowly missing the cut by one stroke at the 3M Open in Minneapolis this past weekend, former University of Georgia golfer Sepp Straka boarded a plane on Monday for Tokyo.

There, the Austrian native will play in the Olympics for his home country this coming weekend before boarding a plane and flying back to Atlanta.

“They do have the lay-flat seat that I’m going to be enjoying,” Straka said of his hectic trip around the globe. “But I’m really looking forward to it.”

Straka, who was born in Vienna and played for the Austrian National Team as an amateur, qualified in late June for his country because of his No. 44 Olympic Golf Ranking.

He will play the four-round tournament with twin brother, and former Bulldog player, Sam, as his caddie.

The 28-year-old Strakas were junior stars in Austria before the family moved to Valdosta just before the brothers attended Georgia in 2012.

Sepp could have elected to stick with his PGA Tour caddie Jon Turcott but instead decided that his Austrian affiliation with Sam, who has caddied on the PGA Tour for such players as former Bulldog Chris Kirk, was too good to let pass in this memorable moment.

Sepp Straka chips onto the 18th green during the first round of The Honda Classic golf tournament at PGA National (Champion). Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“It was pretty easy,” Sepp said of his choice of teaming with his brother. “The Austrian connection is obviously pretty big to have him on the bag as an Austrian as well is pretty cool. It’s a special tournament and I just really felt like it would be a cool moment for us to experience together.”

Sam has filled in as a caddie for Sepp in the past, but nothing will mean more, Sepp says, than the duo representing Austria.

“He’s caddied for me a few times and it’s always special to have him on the bag. To go to the Olympics with me will be something we’ll remember forever.”

The 60-player field tees off Thursday morning at the Kasumigaseki Country Club 30 minutes outside of Tokyo. Medals will be awarded on Sunday.

The tournament was impacted during the weekend after the United States’ Bryson DeChambeau and Spain’s Jon Rahm were disqualified after testing positive for COVID-19. One-time Georgia player Patrick Reed was selected as DeChambeau’s replacement.

Strict protocols face all athletes during an Olympic Games that were delayed by a year and still do not allow fans because of the pandemic.


Check the yardage book: Kasumigaseki East Course for the 2021 Olympic Games

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Olympics golf
Olympics golf

Straka and other golfers will be only be allowed to go from their residence to the golf venue, but he is hopeful that he can explore a bit of the Asian culture during his week-long stay.

“I’ve always wanted to explore Asia, Japan in particular,” Straka said. “I’m a big food guy and I love Asian food, so that’s always been a dream to go over there. That will be special on top of the Olympics.”

For Straka, the winter Olympics were a bigger event in Austria’s colder climate, but he noted that he’d tune in for the summer Games while in Vienna.

He was no doubt inspired on Sunday by Austrian cyclist Anna Kiesenhofer who won the country’s first gold medal since the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Greece.

“It’s just such an honor to play for Austria,” Straka said. “I’ve played for Austria in some team events and it’s just so awesome to play for something bigger than yourself.”