Winged Foot reared its ugly head, but Florida State senior John Pak (5-over) managed to weather the storm. The Scotch Plains, N.J., native made the cut through two rounds at the U.S. Open and advances to weekend play.
Pak’s opening-round 69 (1-under) on Thursday put him in solid position to make the cut. A second-round 76 (6-over) has him at 5-over for the tournament, a welcomed score considering the toughness of Winged Foot combined with a difficult Northeast wind.
One of the nation’s top college golfers, Pak will be the only amateur to play this weekend — the only one of 13 competing who remains in the field.
“All involved with our golf program are extremely proud of John,” FSU coach Trey Jones said from New York. “To compete with the best players in the world on one of the toughest courses in the world is an amazing accomplishment for an amateur. Today was more about guts, heart and competitiveness and he never gave in or faltered. I am so happy for him.”
Pak becomes the second Seminole amateur to make the cut at the U.S. Open, as alum Jack Maguire also made the cut at the 2015 U.S. Open held at Chamber’s Bay.
Growing up roughly an hour away from Winged Foot in Scotch Plains, N.J., it is only fitting that Pak has been able to enjoy his first experience at a major. When his second round could have gotten away from him, he held strong and finished with a respectable score.
At Pak’s 18th hole, and still early in the day, the cut line was once at 4-over while he sat at 5-over. The par-4, 465-yarder has been the course’s fifth-toughest hole so far, but Pak was able sink his pressure putt from two feet, two inches. His 5-over score held up just fine on a day where there were only three rounds under par.