OMAHA, Neb. – Trey Jones had originally planned to spend his Sunday playing golf with his son, Drew, then catching some College World Series baseball games over at TD Ameritrade Park.
But a look at the leaderboard at the U.S. Open after three rounds led Jones, Florida State’s men’s golf course, to change the itinerary.
Instead, both Joneses spent Father’s Day together and glued to the T.V., where they watched Jones’ former FSU protégé Brooks Koepka capture the U.S. Open crown at Erin Hills in Wisconsin.
Koepka, a West Palm Beach native who starred at FSU from 2009-12, is the fourth former Seminole to win a major tournament. He joins Paul Azinger (1993 PGA), Jeff Sluman (1988 PGA) and Hubert Green (1985 PGA, 1977 U.S. Open).
Koepka, however, is the first major winner to play under Jones, who has turned FSU’s men’s golf program into a national power since arriving in 2004.
“It’s amazing,” Jones said in an interview at TD Ameritrade Park. “It’s one of those things, it’s almost like winning a tournament yourself. You don’t really realize it until you settle down and look back on it.
“So, this will probably one of these deals tomorrow morning, you wake up and realize, ‘Wow, we have a U.S. Open winner at Florida State.”
Koepka’s victory put an exclamation point on what has been a banner week for both Jones and Florida State golf.
On June 8, Jones and FSU women’s golf coach Amy Bond walked the Seminole golf course with legend Jack Nicklaus, who was in Tallahassee with his son Jack II to begin work on an upcoming course redesign.
Three days later, Daniel Berger, an FSU standout from 2012-13, won the FedEx St. Jude Classic for the second straight year.
Finally, Koepka then slam dunked the U.S. Open with a final score of 16-under par that tied for the lowest in U.S. Open history.
“That’s pretty sensational in the U.S. Open,” Nicklaus posted on his Twitter account. “Brooks controlled the golf ball fantastically. His game was just so good. Yes, Brooks drove it beautifully, but he made the putts in the final round when had to make them. This was just such a solid performance to win a Championship that will change his life.”
Life changed a little for Jones, too – at least for an afternoon.
As Koepka closed in on his victory, Jones’ phone started lighting up with congratulatory messages as well as interview requests.
More than a dozen media outlets requested a piece of Jones’ time, including one that happened to have plenty of cameras nearby and a live, national audience already tuned in.
As of Monday, Jones had also talked with the Golf Channel and the New York Times, among others.
“I think it’s just part of being at Florida State,” Jones said. “What a great university it is, the opportunities, the people that are surrounding us.
“And Brooks is a great representative of Florida State.”
While his focus was squarely on Koepka, Jones also had another reason to keep an eye on the course at Erin Hills:
The Seminoles will play there as part of their 2017 fall schedule.