John Pak a cut above despite missing weekend at Travelers

CROMWELL, Conn. — John Pak can have higher days than the one he had Friday at the Travelers Championship.

Probably a lot of them.

So, too, will his dad and mom, Kwang and Michelle, who nervously watched their son battle in his try and make the cut for the primary time in his younger skilled profession.

Life has been transferring quick for Pak, a 22-year-old from Scotch Plains, N.J., who just lately turned professional and is chasing the dream he has had since he was a teen swinging sawed-off golf equipment within the yard.

Pak didn’t make the cut, combating his swing on a 3-over-par again 9 and taking pictures a 2-over 72 to complete at even-par, two photographs shy of the 2-under cut line.

Most painful was the truth that Pak was in terrific place to make the cut, making the flip at 3-under. But bogeys on Nos. 12 and 14 left him chasing the quantity. His three-putt bogey on 18 was extra a product of the air being sucked from his sails when his 33-foot birdie try slid previous the opening to the left.

A birdie would have earned him a Saturday tee time after which one other one on Sunday.

It was a day of angst for Pak. But it was even more durable on his dad and mom, significantly his father, who was residing and dying with each shot.

John Pak
Getty Images

“Do you could have youngsters?’’ Kwang Pak requested throughout an interview with The Post whereas his son occurred to be within the midst of his bogey run.

“I’m very drained,’’ the daddy stated greater than as soon as as he watched, paced and held his breath with every shot.

“I can hear the emotion after I make a putt and he screams,’’ John Pak stated of his father. “It’s nice to have my household out right here. They’re my greatest supporters. I want I might have given them a little extra to cheer for at present.’’

He very possible will, based mostly on his expertise and collegiate pedigree.

The previous couple of months have been a lot simpler for Pak. He swept the collegiate 2021 golf awards, successful the Ben Hogan Award, the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Haskins Award after capping a marvelous four-year profession at Florida State.

“I’m so pleased with him for going to varsity for 4 years,’’ Kwang Pak stated.

John is the youngest of 5 youngsters, after Brian, the oldest, who was with their dad and mom Friday, then Steve, David and Diana.

All of the boys performed golf after their father despatched them to golf camp to see in the event that they appreciated it.

The coolest a part of Pak’s backstory is the actual fact his father doesn’t even play golf, but he unwittingly received his sons into the sport.

“If I play, I shoot 120,’’ Kwang Pak stated with a chortle.

“My dad all the time appreciated to make us do issues,’’ Brian Pak stated. “One 12 months it was tae kwon do, one other 12 months it was swimming classes, one other 12 months it was golf … and golf positively caught.’’

Brian recalled John being “very aggressive’’ at golf at a younger age “and you can inform he had a lot extra expertise than we had.

“John received actually good actually quick and at one level he wasn’t taking part in round anymore, he was attempting to make it.’’

Still, Brian stated, nobody might have imagined this.

“This was the objective in the long run, however now that he’s right here it’s sort of loopy,’’ he stated. “We’re all very pleased with him.’’

John Pak consists, mature, well mannered and polished. He seems to have all the precise issues going for him to succeed. And Friday will perpetually be a studying expertise he’ll look again on.

He missed the cut two weeks in the past within the Palmetto Championship at Congaree, his first skilled event, taking pictures 79-71.

“It’s been a little overwhelming, to be trustworthy,’’ Pak stated of the whirlwind couple of months since faculty ended. “I wish to apply a lot and I haven’t actually had time to apply a lot on my sport.’’

He stated he didn’t prep properly for Congaree “and that’s why I didn’t play properly.’’

After taking pictures a 2-under 68 within the Travelers first spherical, he stated he felt “far more assured this week than I did final week.’’

But on that again 9 Friday, he misplaced his swing for a few holes, hitting every thing to the precise from Nos. 12 by 14, and it value him.

“It simply wasn’t there,’’ he stated. “I hit a couple dangerous photographs on the again 9, stored missing it proper. I feel I do know what the difficulty is, but it surely’s laborious to get comfy if you’re below stress. You attempt to repair it and it will get in your head a little bit.’’

John was fast to credit score his father, who owned a grocery retailer in Scotch Plains, for shaping his ardour.

“My dad was large into work ethic,’’ John stated. “He labored a lot of lengthy hours and he helped me study that if you wish to go on the market and get it you’ve set to work laborious. He instilled in me that I’ve received to maintain working laborious. That’s the one method you’ll be able to beat these guys out right here.’’

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