WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A former Florida State and current professional golfer from Palm Beach County paid it forward for another rising star with his own PGA Tour aspirations.
John Pak, the nation's No. 1 collegiate golfer, won the Jack Nicklaus Award, presented to the top men's golfer in Division I.
Pak was honored Sunday during the Memorial Tournament at the Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, not far from Columbus, where Nicklaus starred for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Although Brooks Koepka, who played golf at Florida State from 2008-12, wasn't playing in the Memorial, he still found a way to get involved.
The 31-year-old Jupiter resident and former No. 1 golfer in the world provided a chartered flight so that Pak and his fellow Seminoles could make it from Tallahassee to Ohio for the special honor.
Seminole Boosters CEO Michael Alford took to Twitter to thank Koepka for the transportation, calling it "incredibly generous."
Thank you @BKoepka for your support! Providing first class transportation for @johnnydpak, @FSUGolf & @SeminoleBooster to receive the prestigious @jacknicklaus Award was incredibly generous! Very special day. 🍢#GoNoles #OneTribe pic.twitter.com/FoFIxxTOLQ— Michael Alford (@SeminoleAlford) June 6, 2021
Pak becomes the first player from Florida State to win the award since it was created in 1988. He is the school's all-time leader in low stroke average, victories and top-10 finishes.
Nicklaus now lives in Jupiter, and his nephew, Nick O'Leary, won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top college tight end while playing for the Seminoles.
"I've had a chance to spend some time with John Pak at Florida State," Nicklaus said in a statement. "He's had one of the most decorated collegiate careers in recent history, and I expect him to enjoy success at the next level. As important, John's a good young man, who represents himself, his university and the game very well."