Wyndham Clark was losing it — “it” being his lead. A wonderful birdie at 14 had given way to a bogey at 15 — the only bogey by any player at 15 Sunday — and another at 16. A three-shot lead had been cut to one, with Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler and Rickie Fowler lurking.
This was when Clark’s inexperience would finally show up. This was when the player who had never finished better than tied for 75th at a major would run out of steam.
Two holes later, Clark was losing it again — “it” being his emotions. The tears came, and for good reason: He’s a U.S. Open champion, a monumental win in a suddenly fast-rising career that nearly never happened.
- In 2013, Clark’s mother, Lise, died from breast cancer. Clark was playing at powerhouse Oklahoma State at the time, and he has admitted he nearly quit the game entirely after his mother’s death.
- He eventually transferred to Oregon, rediscovered his passion for the game, and turned pro in 2017. He earned his Tour card in 2019.
- Until last month, he had zero professional wins of any kind.
Clark, 29, wasn’t always the steadiest player. He needed four birdies to cancel out four bogeys Sunday. But ultimately, his well-rounded game allowed him to hold off all challengers across a loaded leaderboard. Over the four days, he ranked…
- Second in strokes gained off the tee
- Seventh in strokes gained around the green
- Fourth in strokes gained putting
Now he’s the man atop the game he nearly quit.