When asked about what he did to prepare, the second American to qualify for Team USA said he got into grind mode after taking some time off.
Then Clark took it upon himself to throw a shot at Team Europe for playing throughout September, including in the BMW PGA Championship. All 12 members played and made the cut, with five of them finishing inside the top 10.
“It’s great that they got to play, but I also think they might be a little mentally fatigued as this week goes on,” Clark said. “This is a very intense environment and mentally challenging, and you put in a pretty physically demanding golf course being so hilly and up and down that maybe come Sunday they might be leaking oil, and we’ll be fresh.”
What an interesting way to suggest that the Europeans would be tired on Sunday. This quote isn’t the first hot take Clark has had recently.
He also said he thought he was better than Rory McIlroy last week in an interview with Golf Channel.
The reigning U.S. Open champion appeared to provide bulletin board material for the Europeans. Curiously, he didn’t rest the entire time himself.
“Last week, I played a lot of money games at Whisper Rock with a lot of good players, and then Max [Homa] and I played best ball and alternate shot multiple days against other good players. So that’s kind of how I prepared.”
The Ryder Cup is a different animal than a run-of-the-mill tournament. Team golf presents different challenges that require camaraderie and familiarity. Wouldn’t that time together help the Europeans bond and prepare for Rome?
Clark clearly feels confident going into Rome, but maybe some humble pie will be served sooner than later. Trash talk is part of this event, even encouraged at times, but suggesting the Europeans will be tired and the Americans won’t is fascinating.
Leaking oil is such a crude thing to say (pun intended) when he has no earthly idea about this week because he is, in fact, a rookie.
Nevertheless, he and his teammates will look to end a 30-year drought on foreign soil and retain the Cup. It won’t be an easy task.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.