Former Seminole Daniel Berger Named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – The Florida State Men’s Golf program added another noteworthy achievement on Friday morning when it was announced that former player Daniel Berger (2011-13) was named the 2014-15 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year by Commissioner Tim Finchem.
The high-ranking honor for a first-year tour player marks the first time a Seminole has been named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. When Berger was at FSU he was a first-team All-American by Golfweek and the Golf Coaches Association of America, ending his final season in Tallahassee with a 69.79 stroke average.
“I’m obviously very proud of Daniel,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said. “When you combine his natural athletic ability with his competitive spirit you have an elite combination. At each stage from junior golf, college golf, the Web.com Tour and now the PGA TOUR he has figured out a way to improve, compete and win.”
Berger was one of four nominees for the award, joining fellow rookies Tony Finau, Nick Taylor and Justin Thomas. The Jupiter, Fla., native was the lone rookie to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, and finished 11th in the final FedEx Cup standings following a late-season push in the four tournaments that make up the FedEx Cup Playoff.
When Berger attended FSU he also was named to the All-Nicklaus Team, the All-ACC Team and the PING All-Region Team. His 2014-15 season was highlighted by two second-place finishes at The Honda Classic in a playoff and the BMW Championship in the FedEx Cup Playoff.
In only his first full season he finished 25th on the Official Money List, earning $3,028,901. He posted six Top-10 finishes and 13 Top-25 finishes.
“He loves to compete and will only get better,” Jones added. “No one that was on the team with Daniel is the least bit surprised by this recognition.”
While at FSU, Berger finished tied for second at the NCAA Championships to mark the best finish by a Seminole since fellow PGA TOUR member Nolan Henke also finished second at the NCAAs in 1997.
The end of the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season has been a high point for Florida State Men’s Golf. FSU is one of just four collegiate programs who had three players finish in the Top 62 of the FedEx Cup, including Berger (11th), Brooks Koepka (24th) and George McNeill (62nd).
It is also one of just three programs who boast at least three different Major winners (Hubert Green, Paul Azinger and Jeff Sluman) as well as a PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year.
By season’s end Berger found himself ranked in the Top 20 on the PGA TOUR in a host of different categories: Approaches from 200-225 yards (first), approaches from 200+ yards (10th), par 5 scoring average (13th), ball striking (14th), total birdies (15th), club head speed (17th), driving distance (18th), total driving (18th) and final round scoring average (20th).
Notable PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year winners include John Daly (1991), Vijay Singh (1993), Ernie Els (1994), Tiger Woods (1996), Rickie Fowler (2010) and Jordan Spieth (2013). The award was first introduced in 1990.