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Pak adds Nicklaus Award to trophy case

Florida State men’s golf senior John Pak picked up another national player of the year award on Sunday, earning more widespread recognition as the recipient of the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Award presented by True Spec Golf given to the best player in collegiate golf.

The award marks a clean sweep for Pak in three of collegiate golf’s biggest honors, as he also won the Fred Haskins Award and the Ben Hogan Award this week.

“If you look at the records of these recipients, each one put together dominating seasons and are very deserving of this honor,” Jack Nicklaus said.

The Nicklaus Award undoubtedly makes Pak the best player in collegiate golf in 2021. He is the No. 1 ranked player by both Golfstat and Golfweek, and re-wrote the career record books in his four-year career at Florida State.

Earning the Nicklaus Award is extra special for a Florida State student-athlete considering the great amount of time Nicklaus Design put in to renovating the Seminole Legacy Club. The heralded golf course successfully hosted a 2021 NCAA Regional and received tremendous reviews from many of the regional’s coaches and participants.

Due to Nicklaus’ family connections to Florida State, his time in Tallahassee spent working on the re-design and with Pak’s recent participation in the Walker Cup, golf’s all-time majors leader has gotten to know Pak better over the years.

“I’ve had a chance to spend some time with John Pak at Florida State,” Nicklaus said in a statement. “He’s had one of the most decorated collegiate careers in recent history, and I expect him to enjoy success at the next level. As important, John’s a good young man, who represents himself, his university and the game very well.”

Pak leaves FSU as its all-time leader in low stroke average (69.87), victories (T1st with Nolan Henke at eight) and Top 10 finishes (29). At the collegiate level, he is the most decorated golfer to don the Garnet and Gold, guiding the Seminoles to a tie-for-fifth finish this year in the NCAA Quarterfinals, the program’s second-best finish ever.

The other finalists for the Jack Nicklaus Award at the Division I level included Pierceson Coody (Texas), Noah Goodwin (Southern Methodist), Ryan Hall (South Carolina) and Davis Thompson (Georgia).

Nicklaus, a Big Ten and NCAA Champion at The Ohio State University, helped inspire and create the Jack Nicklaus Award in 1988, and it is now presented to the National Player of the year in NCAA Divisions I, II and III, as well as NAIA and NJCAA.