TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Seminoles.com) – John Pak of the Florida State Men’s Golf team was named the ACC Freshman of the Year on Thursday afternoon, announced by the conference. He also joins teammate Harry Ellis as FSU’s two representatives on the All-ACC Team.
Pak becomes the fourth Seminole golfer to be named the ACC Freshman of the Year, including the third since 2013. The Scotch Plains, N.J., native joins reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka (2009), Hank Lebioda (2013) and Jack Maguire (2014) as the Florida State Men’s golfers whom have earned the highest rookie honor in the conference.
“This is something that’s important to him,” FSU head coach Trey Jones said of Pak. “This was a goal of John’s starting the year. He’s had a great year, continues to get better and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Pak’s current scoring average of 70.50 ranks as the second-lowest in a full year at Florida State (fall and spring), only trailing current PGA Tour player and two-time defending FedEx St. Jude Classic champion Daniel Berger’s 69.79 average in 2012-13.
He leads the Seminoles with four Top-5 finishes this year and eight Top-10 showings as well. Pak won Florida State’s home tournament, the Seminole Intercollegiate, after shooting 8-under at Golden Eagle Country Club on Feb. 24-25.
Pak is ranked as the second-highest freshman in the country according to Golfstat’s player rankings. Only Oklahoma State freshman Matthew Wolff is rated higher, as Pak is ranked 28th overall.
Ellis once again was another key component to Florida State’s 13th consecutive year of making an NCAA Regional. The 2017 Amateur Champion led FSU with two victories, co-winning both the Marquette Intercollegiate on Oct. 1-3 and winning alongside teammate Jamie Li at the Mobile Sports Authority Intercollegiate.
“Being good one time is an honor, but he has shown he can do a lot of things well,” Jones said of Ellis. “He’s consistent, a great leader, does well academically. He is leaving a legacy. It’s well-deserved on his part, where he was when he came in here, to where he is now 4 ½ years later.”
Ellis becomes the 10th Seminole to earn multiple All-ACC Team honors, putting himself with several impressive names that include FSU Alums Christian Raynor, Jonas Blixt, Matt Savage, Drew Kittleson, Brooks Koepka, Chase Seiffert, Hank Lebioda, Jack Maguire and Cristobal Del Solar.
The native of Southampton, England, had the honor of playing in several exclusive tournaments outside of collegiate golf, including the 2017 Open Championship, the 2018 Masters and the upcoming 2018 U.S. Open in Shinnecock Hills.
Florida State’s two golfers earning All-ACC honors marks the 12th straight year FSU Men’s Golf has had multiple all-conference selections.
Pak and Ellis will lead 22nd-ranked Florida State into next week’s NCAA Golf Regional held at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.