GOLF

Wyndham Clark wins first ever major championship at the US Open

Jun 18, 2023, 7:45 PM | Updated: 7:52 pm

Wyndham Clark of the United States reacts after his winning putt on the 18th green during the final...

Wyndham Clark of the United States reacts after his winning putt on the 18th green during the final round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Wyndham Clark always carried the message from his late mother to “play big.” Nothing was bigger than Sunday when he held off Rory McIlroy with one clutch shot after another to become a U.S. Open champion.

The final act was two putts from 60 feet away on the 18th hole at Los Angeles Country Club, and the 29-year-old Clark pumped his fist when it settled a foot away. He tapped that in for an even-par 70 and a one-shot victory over McIlroy and so many other stars.

Scottie Scheffler, the No. 1 player in the world, couldn’t catch him. Neither could British Open champion Cameron Smith or Rickie Fowler, who played in the final group for the third time in a major and watched an exquisite performance by Clark, playing for the third time on the weekend in a major.

Clark let loose his emotions at the end, looking to the blue sky in tears and covering his face with his cap as he sobbed on the green.

He thought about quitting golf when he struggled 10 years ago with his mother, Lise, dying of breast cancer. He didn’t qualify for the the majors until two years ago. And now he has two victories in six weeks, with more big moments to come.

For McIlroy, it was more major disappointment. He opened with a birdie and didn’t make another one the rest of the day. He hung around when Clark began to falter, though McIlroy missed fairways and couldn’t buy a putt, similar to the British Open last summer at St. Andrews. He closed with a 70.

Golf

Sparky's Fairway at Mountain America Stadium...

Tyler Drake

Sparky’s Fairway golf takes over Arizona State’s Mountain America Stadium

ASU's Mountain America Stadium is trading in its hash marks for yardage markers as Sparky's Fairway takes center stage beginning Thursday.

1 month ago

Fans at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open...

Associated Press

Thunderbirds looking at ways to tame Phoenix Open after wild, muddy mess

The Thunderbirds, who operate the Phoenix Open, plan to spend the next 11 months looking for ways to implement changes to the tournament.

2 months ago

Adam Svensson of Canada putts on the 18th green during the continuation of the second round of the ...

Arizona Sports

WM Phoenix Open offering refund submissions for Saturday closure

The WM Phoenix Open is offering refund submissions to fans who were denied entrance on Saturday when the event's gates were temporarily closed.

2 months ago

WM Phoenix Open crowds on Friday...

Arizona Sports

The Thunderbirds exec: WM Phoenix Open to consider ‘complete operational changes’

What happened at the 2024 WM Phoenix Open, with gates being closed and alcohol sales shutting down, will lead to changes to the event.

2 months ago

Nick Taylor, of Canada, hits out of a fairway bunker on the second hole during the final round of t...

Associated Press

Nick Taylor wins WM Phoenix Open with birdie on 2nd hole of playoff

Nick Taylor made an 11-foot birdie putt to beat Charley Hoffman on the second hole of a playoff at the WM Phoenix Open.

2 months ago

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...

Dan Bickley

Bickley: WM Phoenix Open caps the weirdest, wettest and wildest tournament ever

Fans of the 2024 WM Phoenix Open experienced one of the weirdest, wettest and wildest versions of the tournament to date.

2 months ago

Wyndham Clark wins first ever major championship at the US Open