Norrman, Pak lead FSU’s title pursuit in desert

Florida State has already made history with its first men’s golf regional title. The Seminoles now move on to the NCAA Championships and prepare to face a very different course as they take aim at a national title.

On Friday-Sunday, each team will participate in the stroke-play portion of the championship to determine the Top 15 teams remaining. On Monday, the final day of stroke play occurs to limit the field from 15 to the top eight teams for match play.

“It’s going to be a big golf course,” FSU coach Trey Jones said. “It’s a true desert course. Our key is going to be to retrain these guys’ eyes because here they are used to looking at pine trees instead of cactus. The fairways will be wide enough, but they don’t look like it. We’ve got some things that we are going to do to show them how wide they are with some tape measures that we think will help ease their mind off the tee.”

Graduate transfer Vincent Norrman (-9) and John Pak (-8) finished third and fourth in the regional, respectively. The two experienced golfers make up one of the nation’s best collegiate duos, with Pak leading the team with a 69.78 scoring average while Norrman is second at 70.74.

The Seminoles will also have freshman standout Brett Roberts, redshirt sophomore Cole Anderson and freshman Frederik Kjettrup in the lineup. Graduate student Greyson Porter will serve as the alternate.

Jones said he is reluctant to compare teams but admits the depth of talent 1-5 is impressive.

“The thing about this one is when you have a player like John Pak on the team – and we’ve had Brooks (Koepka) and Daniel (Berger) on teams before – that goes a long way when you go late in a tournament,” Jones said. “The thing that I think has gone a little unheard of is we’re playing three freshmen right now. That’s going to be a great experience for them as well.”

For reference, the Seminoles’ best finish in the NCAA Finals came in 2010 when Koepka led them to a third-place tie.

FSU is paired with No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Oklahoma State for each of the first two rounds of play. The Seminoles’ first two rounds begin at 2:30 p.m. ET on Friday and 9:10 a.m. on Saturday, with Golfstat.com providing live scoring.

The GOLF Channel will provide live coverage from Monday through Wednesday’s championship match. Monday’s live coverage is from 5-9 p.m., while Tuesday’s live coverage of the match play quarterfinals and semifinals is from noon-2:30 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. GOLF Channel will air Wednesday’s championship match beginning at 5 p.m. ET.

FSU rides into its first NCAA Finals since 2017 with some serious momentum, winning the Tallahassee Regional convincingly last week after shooting 34-under (271-281-278). The Seminoles shot twice as low as runner-up Georgia (-17) to card their first regional victory, a performance that propelled them to earn the NCAA’s top seed in the finals.

FSU sports information contributed