Wyndham ClarkWyndham Clark Captures the U.S. Open

Wyndham Clark’s victory at the 2023 U.S. Open might’ve been a shock to some, but it didn’t come out of blind. Though the 29-year-old Colorado native had only played in six previous majors championships—with no finish better than T-75—the 32nd-ranked player in the world held off the game’s best only a month earlier to win the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow, one of six top-10 finishes in the 2022-’23 season. The American, boasting just one prior win on the PGA Tour and having never previously made the cut at the tournament, held off the challenge of Northern Ireland’s four-time major champion to win the 123rd edition of the major by a single stroke.

Wyndham Clark wins 2023 US Open
Wyndham Clark wins 2023 US Open

Clark, 29, finished 10-under overall and took home a $3.6 million winner’s share of the record $20 million prize pool, the greatest sum ever given out in major history. He did this by shooting an even-par 70 in the final round. Although the victory happened on Father’s Day, Clark honored his mother Lise Clark, who passed away from breast cancer in 2013.

Earlier in the competition, the golfer from Denver had spoken in-depth about her inspiration, describing how she had given him the advice to “play big.” Mission firmly completed, Clark sobbed in his winner’s interview as he spoke of her.

“You know she can’t be here, but I just had the feeling that my mother was keeping an eye on me today.” Miss you, mum,” a tearful Clark added. “I’ve worked so hard and long for this moment in my dreams. I’ve thought about being here in front of you all and taking home the trophy so many times, “I just feel like it was my time.”

Wyndham Clark wins 2023 US Open, Securing American’s first career
Wyndham Clark wins 2023 US Open, Securing American’s first career

2011 US Open champion McIlroy has been waiting nine years for his fifth major victory. Since winning The Open and PGA Championship in 2014, the 34-year-old has now placed in the top five at ten major competitions. McIlroy told reporters, “When I do finally win this next major, it’s going to be really, really sweet.”

“I would endure 100 Sundays just like this to win another major championship,” said the speaker.

Rickie Fowler will have to wait an even longer time because he started the final round tied for the lead with Clark. Unfortunately, a brutal final day slump ended his hopes of winning a coveted first major.

The 34-year-old got off to a historic start, shooting 62 to tie fellow American Xander Schauffele for the lowest round ever at the US Open. However, he finished with a 75, the fourth-highest score of the final round, dropping him to tied-fifth.

The bittersweet label of being one of the best golfers to never win a major remains attached to the fan-favorite Californian. He finished second three times and finished in the top 10 eight times. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler finished third, one stroke ahead of Australian Cameron Smith in fourth, and three shots behind Clark at seven under par.

Wyndham Clark Captures the U.S. Open
Wyndham Clark Captures the U.S. Open

Australian Min Woo Lee and Englishman Tommy Fleetwood tied for fifth place with Fowler after a scorching final round, just millimeters short of matching Fowler and Schauffele’s historic record.

Fleetwood soared 32 spots up the leaderboard with two eagles and four birdies, but his final seven-foot birdie attempt agonizingly missed the mark, leaving him with a score of 63.

Both the defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick and the PGA Championship victor Brooks Koepka tied for 17th place overall at one-under par.

On July 20, The Open Championship, the year’s fourth and last men’s major, begins at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

 

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