Florida State’s golf programs will be home to an impressive duo in 2020. Oh, and the pair happens to know each other a little.
Cousins Brett and Taylor Roberts have committed to the Seminoles, with Brett set to join the men’s program in 2020 and Taylor earning a spot on the women’s team the same year.
It’s a family connection that has the Roberts cousins beaming about their future together on the college level.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Brett said. “We should have a really good time.”
The cousins already live nearby: Taylor resided in Boca Raton, Fla., before her family moved to Parkland, Fla., last year while Brett is now roughly 15 minutes away in Coral Springs, Fla.
But in the years to come, the pair will find their locations even closer.
The cousins first learned of the possibility earlier this year when they were talking about schools they were looking at. Taylor took the plunge first, committing to Florida State in early June.
Roughly two weeks later, Brett announced his Seminoles commitment as well.
Brett comes in as Golfweek’s boys No. 190 and is 15th in the Class of 2020. He had received interest from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Florida, Auburn and LSU before picking the Seminoles after getting the feeling that the coaches there could help his game and being impressed by the school’s facilities.
Taylor is No. 27 in the Golfweek/Sagarin junior girls rankings and rated at No. 7 in her 2020 class. She got looks from Florida, Furman, Clemson, UCF, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Illinois and Ohio State but ultimately decided on Florida State, as “it felt like home” and she connected with head coach Amy Bond in conversations.
Despite Taylor boasting the higher ranking, Brett couldn’t help but amusingly wonder how it all came together this quickly for his cousin.
“When we both committed, he was like, ‘How did you get good in the last two years?’ ” Taylor said.
Indeed, Taylor was the late bloomer in this pair. Brett’s competitive golfing life started when he was 9 or 10, and while Taylor began competing in tournaments around the same time, she didn’t take it seriously until around age 12.
What was it like before that shift?
Taylor recalls one of her earliest tournament memories coming at a local event in Boca Raton. The 10-year-old was paired up with Alexa Pano, already a star player and now the top-ranked junior in the Class of 2022. As Pano posted a score around par, Taylor estimated she shot something close to 65 that day … on nine holes.
Earlier this year at a tournament, Taylor reminded a stunned Pano about that gap between their scores just a few years ago.
“She was like, ‘That’s not possible,’ ” Taylor said with a laugh.
The key to the Florida State commit’s rise has been a total immersion.
Taylor, 15, has been home-schooled since sixth grade in order to aid in her budding golf career. She also participates in TPI training, yoga and spinning – all geared toward helping her golf game.
The move to Parkland also earned her more practice time, as she now lives on Parkland Golf and Country Club’s 17th hole.
The results have shown, as Taylor made it to the semifinals in this year’s U.S. Girls’ Junior. She won several junior events in Florida and was named the Florida State Golf Association’s 2017 Girls’ Junior Player of the Year.
Brett, 15, also lives on a golf course (he’s situated at No. 8 at TPC Eagle Trace) and recently earned a runner-up finish as a St. Thomas Aquinas sophomore at Florida’s Class 3A state golf tournament. He posted three top fives and four top 10s in AJGA events this year as well.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a golfing family without a potent rivalry.
The Roberts are competitive with one another and like to mess with each other in casual rounds.
Taylor’s most useful tactic is playing X Ambassadors song “Unsteady” to try to unnerve her cousin. Brett likes to counter by honking the cart horn during Taylor’s backswing.
“She’ll get mad sometimes,” Brett joked.
As for who takes a match loss harder between the two, well…
“When I beat him sometimes, and he’s sleeping over my house, he won’t talk to me,” Taylor said with a laugh.
But they’re still in this together.
The Roberts clan actually boasts a strong Ohio State lineage, and Taylor noted turning down the Buckeyes was especially difficult with so many family members as alums.
Her dad, Marc, began bucking the Ohio State trend when he went to Indiana University to play baseball. Caleb Roberts, Brett’s older brother, continued that shift as he’s signed with UNC for baseball.
But the Ohio State tradition still runs deep.
Taylor doesn’t have to look far for a reminder, as her younger sister, Casey, hopes to one day play lacrosse for the Buckeyes and likes to give her sibling grief about not choosing Ohio State.
Instead, the golfing Roberts are forging a new path.
“It’s kind of starting a new legacy with Brett and I going to Florida State,” Taylor said.
It’ll certainly be one worth watching starting in 2020.