Pak stands up to course, world’s top golfers at U.S. Open

John Pak earned the last of seven amateur spots in the U.S. Open. And Pak made the most of it, making the cut and extending his weekend at the famed Winged Foot Golf Club.

The Florida State senior impressed early with an opening-round 69, helping him stay above the cutline and have a chance to enjoy a long weekend playing golf among the world’s best.

“It puts a lot of things into perspective,” Pak said on Sunday after finishing his four rounds at 18-over 298. “I’ve never played in anything like this, a golf course this hard, the competition this tough. It just proves that all the hard work that I’ve done is paying off.”

Among the highlights for Pak were an eagle on the 321-yard sixth hole on Sunday, helping him make the turn for the day at even-par 35. Pak finished his final round with a 74.

The 21-year-old Pak held his own against a challenging course and a competitive field. It’s worth noting that even major champions like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose missed the cut. On Sunday, Pak’s parents were able to make the trip to watch him play.

“They’ve been my biggest supporters my whole life,” Pak said. “That was really special.”

Pak showed the college golf world what he could do the last two seasons, recording scoring averages of 69.4 last season and 69.56 as a sophomore. And this weekend Pak showed what he could do in front of a national TV audience, wearing the FSU logo on his shirts and hats.

“They are like my second family,” Pak said. “Florida State was one of the best decisions of my life. I love it there. I love my teammates.”

No ACC schools will play golf this fall, instead pushing the schedule to early 2021. Pak could have opted to turn pro after his junior season but had plenty of reasons to stay, from his girlfriend to teammates to the pursuit of his degree in Social Science to playing his senior season.

“I’m really looking forward to the spring,” Pak said. “We start early, as early as January. We’ve got a really good team. I feel like we have a good shot at winning the national championship this year. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

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