TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Men’s golfer John Pak proved he is indeed one of the top amateur golfers in the world. He did it on an international stage for plenty to see.
The third-year Seminole was the only player on either the USA team or the Great Britain & Ireland squad to not lose a match, going 3-0 with two singles wins and a foursome victory as the USA defeated GB&I 15 ½ – 10 ½ in the 2019 Walker Cup.
With the event being played at Royal Liverpool in Hoylake, England, it marked the first time the United States nabbed a victory on International soil since 2007 at Royal County Down.
Pak’s points were pivotal for the United States, which trailed GB&I 7-5 heading into Sunday’s foursomes and singles matches. Pak earned a hard-fought 2&1 win over Euan Walker to swing the momentum in the USA’s favor on Sunday, and his comeback win in Saturday’s singles match vs. James Sugrue where he won on the final two holes was seen as a turning point.
“Yesterday afternoon with John Pak, that was a really pivotal match,” said USA captain Nathaniel Cosby on Sunday. “I think that really made a big difference in our psychology.”
Pak also helped deliver USA’s first point in the Saturday morning foursomes when he teamed with Isaiah Salinda to win 2&1. The experience of playing on one of amateur golf’s biggest stages was surreal for Pak, but he settled in nicely following his opening tee shot.
“I was very nervous,” Pak said in an interview after winning the Saturday foursome. “I’ve never experienced that many people watching me before. The nerves were there and it kind of showed a little bit.”
Pak is ranked in the Top 20 among the world’s amateur golfers based on the latest World Amateur Golf Ranking, which hasn’t factored in the Walker Cup. The Scotch Plains, N.J., native is expected to begin his junior season with the Seminoles this weekend when FSU travels to its season-opening Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Pak set the single-year scoring average record at FSU in the 2018-19 year, shooting a 69.56 to break Daniel Berger’s previous mark of 69.79 in 2012-13.