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.
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.