21-year-old Scotch Plains native to play in 120th US Open Golf Tournament

A 21-year-old amateur golfer from Scotch Plains will be among the participants at the U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.

News 12 Staff

Aug 29, 2020, 12:25 AM

Updated 1,326 days ago

Share:

A 21-year-old amateur golfer from Scotch Plains will be among the participants at the U.S. Open golf tournament at Winged Foot Golf Club in New York.
John Pak had no problem rising to the occasion in his last chance to make the cut at the U.S. Amateur Championship earlier this month.
“I was ranked eighth and I was fortunate to barely clip Pierceson Coody by one ad get that seventh spot and I’m just going to take it and run with it,” Pak says.
Pak is now one of seven amateurs that has earned a spot in the 120th U.S. Open Championship.
“It’s so hard to get an exemption and to play my first PGA Tour event, for it to be the U.S. Open is really special,” says Pak.
Pak says that he learned to play golf on local courses. After his freshman year at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School, he says he decided that he wanted to pursue a golf career. He moved to Orlando and s now a senior at Florida State University.
“I have three older brothers and one older sister and they are all in New Jersey and my parents are still there,” he says. “It’s pretty unfortunate with COVID that they’re not allowed to come and watch.”
Pak says that he thinks that having no spectators at the event may make him feel calmer when he begins to play. But he says that he knows that his excitement will boil over when he sees one particular competitor.
“For me, it’s got to be Tiger Woods. He’s always been my role model and my favorite golfer growing up. Obviously when I see him, that’s just going to be incredible,” says Pak.
Pak says that he has played at Winged Foot in a junior tournament about six years ago and finished in the top three. He says that he is excited to return on an even bigger stage.
“I’ve really got nothing to lose. I’m there for the experience and I really just want to measure my game against the best players in the world, and I think I’ve got a really good opportunity to do that here,” he says.
Pak says that after the U.S. Open, he plans to graduate college this spring and continue his golf career on the Korn Ferry Tour.


More from News 12
0:25
Crash on New Jersey Turnpike sends debris onto Elizabeth street below

Crash on New Jersey Turnpike sends debris onto Elizabeth street below

2:07
Mild temperatures overnight; clear weather for Tuesday with highs in the 70s

Mild temperatures overnight; clear weather for Tuesday with highs in the 70s

2:08
Prosecutor: Montclair police officer injured in shootout; suspect also hospitalized

Prosecutor: Montclair police officer injured in shootout; suspect also hospitalized

2:29
Prosecutor: Atlantic City mayor, wife accused of physically abusing teen daughter

Prosecutor: Atlantic City mayor, wife accused of physically abusing teen daughter

1:47
Officials investigate 2 homes possibly damaged by 4.8 magnitude earthquake

Officials investigate 2 homes possibly damaged by 4.8 magnitude earthquake

0:18
Officials: Lightning sparks fire that displaces 8 Kearny families

Officials: Lightning sparks fire that displaces 8 Kearny families

0:39
Jersey Proud: Preschool students hold fundraiser for Make-A-Wish

Jersey Proud: Preschool students hold fundraiser for Make-A-Wish

1:56
‘He was a beautiful person.’ Man found dead following house fire in Paterson

‘He was a beautiful person.’ Man found dead following house fire in Paterson

2:17
Community comes together to clean veterans’ gravestones in Nutley

Community comes together to clean veterans’ gravestones in Nutley

0:20
Police: Toms River man won’t face charges for striking toddler with car

Police: Toms River man won’t face charges for striking toddler with car

0:27
NJ Transit: Body found on train tracks in Fair Lawn

NJ Transit: Body found on train tracks in Fair Lawn

1:55
Middlesex County rabbi: No loss of life during Iran airstrikes on Israel was ‘miraculous’

Middlesex County rabbi: No loss of life during Iran airstrikes on Israel was ‘miraculous’

0:20
Downed wires cause car fires in Elmwood Park; no injuries

Downed wires cause car fires in Elmwood Park; no injuries

0:18
2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball prize

2 best friends from New Jersey split $1 million Powerball prize

9:54
be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

be Well: Melissa Gorga on balancing life on reality television and her business

0:27
Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

Officials: Warren County man arrested for punching 2 Newark police officers

2:33
Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

Made In New Jersey: Unionwear in Newark makes clothes for union members nationwide

0:38
Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

Ridgewood's Scottie Scheffler unstoppable and wins another Masters green jacket

0:28
New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

New Jersey Turnpike Authority warns users of text message scam

0:28
NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University

NJ man sentenced to serve 15 years in prison for 2023 sexual assault, kidnapping at Farleigh Dickinson University