Clark shot an even-par 70 Sunday. He stayed even-keeled throughout the round and finished one stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy, perhaps the most popular player on the planet and one of the greatest golfers of his generation.
Clark’s gutsy victory in Southern California marks the second time he has won this year. He won the Wells Fargo Championship in May, two weeks before the PGA Championship.
But in January, Clark was the 160th-ranked player in the world.
Even crazier, at last year’s U.S. Open, won by Matt Fitzpatrick, the Official World Golf Ranking had Clark as their 239th-ranked golfer.
Now he is the U.S. Open champion and feels like he belongs on golf’s biggest stage.
“I feel like I belong on this stage,” Clark said after his round. “Even two and three years ago, when people didn’t know who I was, I felt like I could still play and compete against the best players in the world. I felt like I’ve shown that this year.”
“Obviously, this just shows what I believe can happen.”
Clark entered the final round as the 54-hole co-leader alongside Rickie Fowler, another one of the more popular golfers in the game.
Along with McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, the top-ranked player in the world, lurked not too far behind the leaders.
But none of that bothered Clark, as he was clearly the best player on the brightest stage in the Hollywood Hills on Sunday.
And despite not having the immense popularity of the PGA Tour’s top stars, Clark’s victory at LACC lit up the golfing world:
What a gutsy win from Wyndham Clark. Going up against 3 popular superstars all weekend long. Clearly not the fan favorite. Yet delivered clutch save after clutch save. Insanely impressive.
— Riggs (@RiggsBarstool) June 19, 2023
Just hosted the trophy ceremony of the @usopengolf in my hometown of Los Angeles. Wouldn’t have had that on my childhood bingo card in a zillion years. So grateful. Congratulations, Wyndham Clark. What a show you put on all week! pic.twitter.com/1ur9nnxEgm
— Damon Hack (@damonhackGC) June 19, 2023
Wyndham Clark is the U.S. Open champion!
That’s five first-time major winners in a row at the U.S. Open. The last time there was a longer streak was from 1973-1978.
— Justin Ray (@JustinRayGolf) June 19, 2023
“All I really wish is that my mom could be here, and I could just hug her.” — Wyndham Clark
Man. A great reminder that family trumps trophies.
— Sean Martin (@PGATOURSMartin) June 19, 2023
Wyndham Clark missed 24 cuts in 2021-2022.
Sometimes our best golf is just around the corner.
— The Par Train (@TheParTrain) June 19, 2023
Whether or not fans are disappointed Fowler or McIlroy did not win, it’s hard to argue that no one deserved this more than Clark did.