On the final day of the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club, Wyndham Clark prevailed against Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler. With a final round score of 70, Clark, 29, won by one stroke over McIlroy and two over Scheffler at 10-under par.
Clark, who had never before made the cut at the U.S. Open, won the competition for the first time by a player who had never before made the cut in the tournament since 2011. And he did it without having ever won an event on the PGA Tour before, making history in the process.
It came as a huge surprise when Clark won. He entered the competition with a world ranking of 123 and was not expected to do well. But on Sunday, he played the finest golf of his life, and after seizing the lead on the back nine, he never relinquished it.
McIlroy, who was attempting to win his fifth major tournament, missed a birdie putt on the 18th hole, preventing him from forcing a playoff with Clark. Scheffler, who was in contention until he bogeyed the last hole, might have also won.
It took a long time, but Clark eventually won. Since he first competed as a professional golfer in 2017, he has maintained a high level of play on the PGA Tour and come very close to winning multiple times. On Sunday, though, he finally broke through and cemented his status as one of the best players in the world.
With Clark’s win, American golf has received a huge boost. Since Brooks Koepka in 2018, he has been the only American to win the U.S. Open. And since Patrick Cantlay won the PGA tournament in 2022, he is the first American to win a major tournament.
Similarly, Clark’s success is a boon to his professional standing. Now for the next five years, he is exempt from the U.S. Open and may also compete in the Masters and the British Open. He has won a major championship and will continue to be a formidable opponent on the PGA Tour for quite some time.