Scotch Plans native makes professional debut on PGA Tour

A Union County native is competing in the Palmetto Championship golf tournament this week in South Carolina.
John Pak spent the last four years dominating college golf. Now the Scotch Plains native is ready to make his professional debut.
“I’m just really excited to be here. Obviously, I was fortunate to play the U.S. Open last year. But I’m making my pro debut this week and I’m just really excited,” Pak says.
This week’s Palmetto Championship at Congaree Golf Club will be Pak’s second start on the PGA Tour. He finished as a low amateur at the U.S. Open last fall.
“It was nice to see some really awesome golf and it just shows what it takes to win at that level and you just, you got to play some really, really good golf,” he says.
Pak turns pro following a record-breaking career at Florida State University. He won the Nicklaus, Haskins and Hogan Awards at the best player in college golf and finished first in the PGA Tour university rankings. During his college career, he also helped Team USA win two Walker Cups.
“First off, I think staying at Florida State for four years was the best move I could have made. I learned so much. I think my games really improved. I think Coach Jones really got me to a point where I think I’m’ ready to compete at the next level on the PGA Tour,” Pak says.
Pak is hopeful that he can compete with the best this week. This is the first time Congaree has hosted a PGA Tour event.
“I guess it levels the playing field a little bit. But these guys are all so good, they’re going to adjust to the golf course quickly, so I just got to go out there and play really well,” he says.
Pak says that his parents traveled down from Scotch Plains to watch him in action, along with his aunt and uncle who have never seen him play.
“I think they’re more excited about it than I am,” Pak says.
Pak’s first round is already in progress.