SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Seminoles.com) – Florida State Men’s Golf fell to Pepperdine, 3.5-1.5, on Tuesday afternoon in the NCAA Men’s Golf Match Play Quarterfinals held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The loss ends a highly-accomplished 2021 year for the Seminoles, whom entered the NCAA Championship as the top overall seed, secured their first regional victory and earned their second Top 10 finish under the current format of the championship.
What a season. What a program 🍢
Our phenomenal 2021 year comes to an end after falling to Pepperdine in the #NCAAGolf Match Play Quarterfinals.
— FSU Golf (@FSUGolf) June 1, 2021
“It was a disappointing way to end a great season,” FSU Head Coach Trey Jones said. “I felt like the way the guys competed that we were never out of it until Pepperdine’s player chipped in on the eighth hole. Those things happen. I’m proud of our team for the way they fought – they did it all year. We had amazing leadership this year with Greyson Porter as our captain, Vincent Norrman coming in and immediately being such an important part of our team for so many reasons other than golf.
“Then there’s John Pak having one of the best seasons any college golfer could have, no matter what school, and certainly at Florida State. I’m proud of the accomplishments this year. I’m proud of everything they did. It’s tough when you get this close and don’t make the putts you need to make.”
The clinching match occurred between Joe Highsmith and Cole Anderson, as Highsmith of Pepperdine recorded a chip-in birdie leading by one hole on the par-3 eighth hole. Anderson then recorded par to end the match at 2&1 and give the Waves the match-play victory.
John Pak secured FSU’s lone win over William Mouw after coming back from two holes down through 10. But he responded by winning Hole No. 2 to cut the deficit to one hole, then tied the match with a birdie on the par-3 fifth hole. He then took the lead with a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole and maintained from there, winning 1UP.
— FSU Golf (@FSUGolf) June 1, 2021
The match-play win ends Pak’s record-setting career with the Seminoles, emerging as arguably the greatest collegiate golfer in the program’s history.
“John’s numbers speak for themselves,” Jones added. “He’s going to be listed on several individual awards this year, and all are well deserved. None of them come close to the kind of person he is and the kind of Seminole he is. He’s one of the best people, and it’s been an honor to be his coach. I’m looking forward to seeing and following his professional career as well as Greyson and Vincent’s.”
Frederik Kjettrup halved his match vs. Pepperdine’s Dylan Menante through 20 holes played, ending his freshman season having gone 2-0-1 in match play after defeating his opponents in Clemson and North Carolina during the ACC Championship.
Tuesday was FSU’s first appearance in the NCAA Championship Match Play format since 2010 when it reached the semifinals.
JOHN PAK NAMED PING FIRST-TEAM ALL-AMERICAN
Another national honor rolled through for John Pak on Tuesday morning, earning PING First-Team All-America honors as one of the 12 best collegiate golfers in the country.
Recognized by the Golf Coaches Association of America, the award marks the second time Pak has been named a PING First-Team All-American. In 2019, he also achieved the same feat.
Pak was already one of five FSU golfers to earn first-team honors from the GCAA, joining Nolan Henke, Daniel Berger, Jonas Blixt and Bobby Cochran. But Pak is the only FSU golfer to earn the honor twice (2019 and 2021).