Wyndham Clarke wins 2023 US Open, American’s first career major



CNN

Wyndham Clark He won the 2023 US Open on Sunday, his first major title on Sunday. Los Angeles Country Club.

The American, who boasts one previous win on the PGA Tour and has never won a tournament, saw off the challenge of Northern Ireland’s four-time major champion to win the 123rd edition of the major by a single stroke.

Clark, 29, finished with a 10-under final round 70 and took home a $3.6 million winner’s record $20 million prize purse, the largest prize purse ever awarded in major history.

Winning on Father’s Day, Clarke dedicated the win to her mother, Liz Clarke, who died of breast cancer in 2013.

There was the Denver-born golfer Talked for a long time On her inspiration before the match, she explained how she left him with the instruction to “play big”. Mission accomplished, Clark broke down in tears while discussing her winner’s interview.

“I felt like my mom was looking at me today and you know she can’t be here. Miss you mom,” said an emotional Clarke.

“I’ve worked really hard and I’ve dreamed about this moment for a long time. Many times I’ve visualized being here in front of you and winning this championship.

“I feel like it’s my time.”

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

An emotional Clark celebrates his victory.

McIlroy, the 2011 US Open champion, continues his nine-year wait for a fifth major title. The 34-year-old has finished in the top five at 10 majors since winning The Open and PGA Championship in 2014.

“If I finally win this next major, it will be really sweet,” McIlroy told reporters.

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“I’ll go through 100 Sundays like this to get another major championship.”

The wait will be long Rickie FowlerYar – who started the final round in the lead with Clarke – saw his dreams of an elusive first major evaporate in a painful final day slide.

The 34-year-old made a historic start, shooting a 62 to tie with fellow American Xander Schaffel. broke the record For the lowest single-round score ever at a US Open, but finished with a 75, the fourth-highest final-round score, tied for fifth.

Three-time runner-up, eight-time top-10: The bittersweet tag of being one of the greatest golfers ever to win a major.

Sean M. Hoffey/Getty Images

McIlroy’s quest for a fifth major continues.

World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler finished third, three shots behind seven-under Clarke and Australian Cameron Smith in fourth.

Fowler was joined by fifth-seeded Australian Min Woo Lee and England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who came within inches of equaling Fowler and Schaeffel’s historic feat in the final round.

Fleetwood fired two eagles and four birdies to move 32 places up the leaderboard, but his final seven-foot birdie effort ended in a 63.

Defending champion Matt Fitzpatrick He finished at one-under par for 17th overall, as did PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka last month.

The fourth and final men’s major of the year, The Open Championship, takes place on July 20 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

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Fowler goes through on the sixth hole.

After an agonizing bogey finish to his third round, Fowler’s hopes of wiping the slate clean were quickly dashed. A string of errant tee shots combined for two bogeys in his first six holes saw the first stake of a large 54-hole lead evaporate, world no. 45 started with a dream.

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Again, Clarke capitalized, rattling off three quick birdies in the same stretch. Trailing Fowler by two strokes after 53 holes, he finished with a 60 to lead his playing partner by three.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Fowler endured a tough final round.

Unfortunately for Clarke, McIlroy showed a final-round composure befitting his glittering resume. The Northern Irishman didn’t light up the northern fairway, birdieing just once at the turn and squandering an easy birdie opportunity at the eighth, but only one bogey in his previous 23 holes had kept him within striking distance.

As Fowler continued to stumble, a two-horse race ensued, and there was no doubt who held the pedigree. During the week, McIlroy had twice as many titles as Clarke had made major cuts – although world no. 32, seemed unshakable amid unknown waters.

Then, disaster struck. Finding himself in a dire-looking position among the fescue on the side of the eighth green, Clarke swung and looked up to track a sailing ball. To the American’s visible horror, his ball was buried in the long grass.

It ended the major dreams of more decorated players than Clark, reminiscent of the unsuccessful bunker escape that shot down Victor Hovland’s dreams at last month’s PGA Championship. A brilliantly executed effort on the next attempt earned him a simple putt for a bogey six.

When Clarke returned, he led McIlroy by one stroke.

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McIlroy kept pressure on Clarke throughout.

A chance for a one-on-one shootout was soon confirmed as Fowler made back-to-back bogeys to sink his lead to eight-under after 18 runs.

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The drama happened on the 14th hole for McIlroy, when his approach caught wind and sunk into the face of a bunker. The Northern Irishman fell to his knees in agony but received a boost when the rules officials deemed his ball had broken the surface, giving him a drop in front of the bunker.

It was short-lived relief, however, as his subsequent nine-foot putt rolled wide. At the long last, McIlroy bogeyed and Clarke punished him, immediately taking a three-shot cushion on the same hole into his final five holes.

But the first sign of nerves followed Clark. The American made repeated bogeys as McIlroy went aggressive and applied immediate pressure with a birdie on the 16th. Suddenly, the lead was back to one.

Clark took advantage of the fairway with a one-shot advantage during his walk to the tee on the par-four 18th. At the top, McIlroy’s long-range birdie attempt curled narrowly wide, clinching par for the US Open title.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Crowds line the 18th fairway to watch the closing rounds.

On two greens, hundreds of fans followed Clark down the fairway in what was surely the longest walk of his career. Clark allowed himself a fist bump before knocking his approach to within a foot and advancing to the championship.

After a long hug with caddy John Ellis, a triumphant Clark held his hat to his face before looking skyward.

Really played big.

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