Wyndham Clark had just one PGA Tour win under his belt, and this was only his seventh appearance in a major. But on Sunday, he defied the odds and outlasted Rory McIlroy to win the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club.
Clark shot a final-round 68 to finish at 13 under par, one shot ahead of McIlroy. It was Clark’s first major championship victory, and it came dramatically.
With McIlroy just one shot back, Clark made a 60-foot lag putt to within 18 inches on the 18th green. He then calmly knocked in the putt for a clinching par and erupted in tears as he celebrated his victory.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Clark said. “I’ve been dreaming of this moment since I was a little kid. It’s just amazing.”
McIlroy, who was seeking his fifth major championship, had a chance to force a playoff but missed a short putt on the 18th green. It was a heartbreaking finish for McIlroy, but he credited Clark for playing a great round.
“Wyndham played great,” McIlroy said. “He deserved to win. He hit the ball well all day and made some really clutch putts.”
Clark’s victory surprised many, but he had been playing well all year. He had two top-10 finishes in his previous three starts and was coming off a strong performance at the Memorial Tournament, where he finished tied for fourth.
But Clark’s performance at the U.S. Open was exceptional. He was consistent all week and made some clutch shots when it mattered most. His 60-foot putt on the 18th green was the signature moment of the tournament, and it will be remembered for years to come.
Clark’s victory is a reminder that anything is possible in golf. He was a long shot to win the U.S. Open, but he never gave up. He played his best golf when it mattered most and came away with the biggest win of his career.