Pak earns prestigious Fred Haskins Award

Florida State Men’s Golf senior John Pak has been crowned as the Fred Haskins Award presented by Stifel winner given to the top player in men’s collegiate golf, announced on Tuesday on the GOLF Channel in conjunction with the Fred Haskins Commission.

The 2021 Haskins Award featured the highest voting turnout by players and coaches combined in the award’s 50-year history.

Pak becomes the first Seminole ever to win The Haskins Award, which is decided based on the combined vote of players, coaches and selected media. Pak is the ninth winner from the ACC and the first since NC State’s Matt Hill won in 2009.

“So many great golfers have won this award. Just to be up there with those guys gives me a lot of confidence,” said Pak after receiving the award. “I have a great support system around me at Florida State, and I’m so happy I chose to come here. Having the coaches around just helping me to get better every single day is what I think helped me have such a great season this year.

“Traveling with my friends, teammates and my coaches is something I will always cherish,” continued Pak. “I love my teammates to death. Those are my fondest memories being on this golf team.”

The other two finalists included Georgia’s Davis Thompson and South Carolina’s Ryan Hall.

“John is an outstanding individual on and off the course who has excelled under the challenges of this very unconventional golf season, and we are honored to have him join the distinguished class of Fred Haskins Award winners,” said Brian Stubbs, executive director of the Fred Haskins Commission. “With 2021 being the largest voter turnout in the 51-year history of this award, on behalf of the Fred Haskins Commission I would like to extend my sincere thank you to all of the players, coaches, sports information directors and members of the college golf media for their support.”

Pak’s career at FSU has been record shattering. He leaves the program as the school’s career leader with a 69.87 stroke average while tying for the record of eight wins alongside legendary golfer Nolan Henke.

Earlier on Tuesday, Pak also earned his second PING First-Team All-America honor, making him the first Seminole to earn first-team honors twice in a career.

The Scotch Plains, N.J., native is also a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award (announced on Friday at Colonial Country Club) as well as The Jack Nicklaus Award (announced on Sunday at The Memorial).

Pak also had the prestige of being the inaugural champion of the PGA TOUR University Class, earning all exemptions to The Korn Ferry Tour for the 2021 season. He is eligible to compete at the BMW Charity Pro-Am on June 10-13 in Greer, S.C.

In just 38 tournaments played, Pak also set the FSU record for most Top 10 finishes with 29. He joins only Henke (28) and Christian Raynor (21) as Seminoles with 20 or more Top 10 finishes in a career.

Adding to the numerous impressive feats of Pak’s career, he own the top three single-season scoring averages at FSU as he continues re-writing the record books. Pak’s stroke average in 2020 was 69.40, followed by 69.56 in 2019 and 69.71 in 2021.

FSU falls in match play quarterfinals

Florida State Men’s Golf fell to Pepperdine, 3.5-1.5, on Tuesday in the NCAA Men’s Golf Match Play Quarterfinals held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The loss ends a highly-accomplished 2021 year for the Seminoles, whom entered the NCAA Championship as the top overall seed, secured their first regional victory and earned their second Top 10 finish under the current format of the championship.

“It was a disappointing way to end a great season,” FSU coach Trey Jones said. “I felt like the way the guys competed that we were never out of it until Pepperdine’s player chipped in on the eighth hole. Those things happen. I’m proud of our team for the way they fought – they did it all year. We had amazing leadership this year with Greyson Porter as our captain, Vincent Norrman coming in and immediately being such an important part of our team for so many reasons other than golf.

“Then there’s John Pak having one of the best seasons any college golfer could have, no matter what school, and certainly at Florida State. I’m proud of the accomplishments this year. I’m proud of everything they did. It’s tough when you get this close and don’t make the putts you need to make.”

The clinching match occurred between Joe Highsmith and Cole Anderson, as Highsmith of Pepperdine recorded a chip-in birdie leading by one hole on the par-3 eighth hole. Anderson then recorded par to end the match at 2&1 and give the Waves the match-play victory.

Pak secured FSU’s lone win over William Mouw after coming back from two holes down through 10. But he responded by winning Hole No. 2 to cut the deficit to one hole, then tied the match with a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole. He then took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole and maintained from there, winning 1UP.

The match-play win ends Pak’s record-setting career with the Seminoles, emerging as arguably the greatest collegiate golfer in the program’s history.

“John’s numbers speak for themselves,” Jones added. “He’s going to be listed on several individual awards this year, and all are well deserved. None of them come close to the kind of person he is and the kind of Seminole he is. He’s one of the best people, and it’s been an honor to be his coach. I’m looking forward to seeing and following his professional career as well as Greyson and Vincent’s.”

Frederik Kjettrup halved his match vs. Pepperdine’s Dylan Menante through 20 holes played, ending his freshman season having gone 2-0-1 in match play after defeating his opponents in Clemson and North Carolina during the ACC Championship.

Tuesday was FSU’s first appearance in the NCAA Championship Match Play format since 2010 when it reached the semifinals.