Pak captures Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open title

Nathan Reiter/Daily Herald John Pak (pictured) hoists the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open championship trophy

John Pak was a master at work during the Elk Ridge Saskatchewan Open at Elk Ridge Resort over the weekend.

Pak shot 21-under par for the weekend, with his highest scores being the two rounds of 66 he shot on both Thursday and Saturday.

“I’m pretty emotional.” Pak said about the victory. “Right after, I was pretty overcome with joy. I worked really hard to get back to where I am right now. I know a lot of people have their doubts. I’ve had my doubts. But this kind of just proves to myself that I can still get it done.”

Heading into the 72nd hole of the tournament, Pak held a four-shot lead over Chris Korte and Connor Howe.

Although his lead was significant, Pak knew he had to play a strong hole to capture a title.

“I was still very nervous. Having a four shot lead coming into 18, it feels nice, especially out here. It’s a tight tee ball. You can hit one wayward and everything can change. I stuck to my process and then I hit a good two iron right down the middle and just trusting my game from then on.”

The victory at Elk Ridge had a significant personal element for Pak. Last season, Pak elected to have surgery in March of 2022 due to some pain he was feeling during his golf swing.

He says he was unsure what the surgery would do for his golf career.

“I struggled last year. I was dealing with some wrist problems. I decided to get surgery. It’s a scary process. No one knows, it could turn out better. It could turn out worse. I kept trusting my process and my coaches and doing the right things and led to this, and I’m super thankful for that.”

After finishing with a par on the final hole, Pak had some important business to take care of before he accepted the tournament trophy. He made a phone call to his parents.

“It was emotional.” He said about the call. “My parents would have been there my whole life. They are always pushing me to get better. They always support me. It was emotional and I love them very much.”

The top finishing Canadian over the weekend was Kingston, Ontario’s Noah Steele who finished tied for 8th place at 14-under par.

The next PGA Tour Canada event is the ATB Classic played at Northern Bear Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus designed course near Sherwood Park, Alberta.