The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

November 29, 2012

Geneva’s Nick has a knack on links

Pae earns Star Beacon Player of Year honors

Geneva golfer Nick Pae wasted little time getting his senior season going in the right direction.

Pae kicked off 2012 by receiving medalist honors at the Karl Pearson Invitational, firing a tidy 73 at the season opener.

He followed that up with a 35 in the opening Premier Athletic Conference match of the season for the Eagles, a match they lost as a team to Riverside, but a match that also strengthened the senior’s confidence.

“(Being medalist at the Karl Pearson Invitational) gave me a lot of confidence I could play real well, it was a good start to the season,” he said. “But that first match against Riverside, I shot a 35 and that felt like a good jump start to my season. We lost the match, but me being a leader for the team I felt like we could build of me and get off to a better start next match help the guys.”

Pae parlayed that fast start into season-long success and for that he is the 2012 Star Beacon Ashtabula County Player of the year.

“It was a pretty good year, I was just really focused this year and put in a lot of time practicing,” he said. “I played a lot of rounds and just played all-around solid golf. I didn’t doing anything particular better than other season, I just played well all-around.”

Pae said this season had been a culmination of the work he put in leading up to this season, leaving him with high expectations heading into 2012.

“I was expecting to have a really good season honestly,” he said. “I had worked really hard with (Geneva coach) Mr. (Brad) Ellis. I had high expectations of myself.”

Ellis said the time Pae put in leading up to the year is the reason for his success.

“Nick put a lot of time in the summer and worked on his game,” he said. “After his junior year, he had a good year, but he decided if he worked at this he can be pretty darn good. He had an outstanding year, he’s great kid and he works hard at it.

“He had the right attitude, always positive. When things weren’t going well I’d talk to him and he’s say, ‘I’m all right, I’ll turn it around.’ He has the right mentality for golf and that’s why he’s been successful.”

Pae said working with Ellis is why he had such a successful year.

“He was kind of a mentor to me,” he said. “I played with him every day and he’s a really good player. I just wanted to be as good as he was.”

Pae said he did get the better of Ellis a few times this season, something that was as satisfying as some of his tournament rounds this season.

While he didn’t advance past district’s to state, the son of Bill Pae and Vicki Palinkas said the experience of reaching that level, where he shot an 86, was a great experience.

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