Posted May 7, 2023 in "Watts" In The Bag by Tom Brassell
By The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Wyndham Clark shot 68 on Sunday for a four-shot victory over Xander Schauffele at the Wells Fargo Championship to earn his first career win on the PGA TOUR.
The 29-year-old Clark struggled to hold back tears as he sank a bogey putt on the 18th hole to seal the win.
Clark finished the tournament at 19-under 265, the second-lowest score in relation to par in tournament history behind only three-time champion Rory McIlroy’s 21-under 267 in 2015 when par for the course was 72.
Schauffele had accuracy issues with his driver on Sunday and shot 70, finishing at 15 under.
Tyrrell Hatton and Harry English finished tied for third at 12 under, one shot better than Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott. Defending champion Max Homa shot 70 on Sunday and tied for eighth at 9-under 275.
Clark’s victory came the hard way.
The world’s 80th ranked player opened the final round with a two-shot lead, surrendered it to Schauffele after seven holes and then stormed back to win after playing the final 11 holes in 4 under.
Despite never having won on TOUR before, there were signs that Clark was due. He’d finished in the top six in three of the last five tournaments he’d entered, including a third place finish at the Zurich Classic last month.
He showed the poise of a champion after a rough start.
Clark pulled his tee shot left on No. 1 over the cart path, leaving him a difficult approach shot leading to a bogey. Schauffele pulled into the lead with birdies at Nos. 3 and 7 and it looked like Clark, who was struggling just to make birdie over the first six holes, might collapse under the pressure of trying to win his first tournament.
But the momentum changed on the eighth hole.
Clark chipped to within 4 feet and rolled in a short birdie putt to pull back into a tie and then took the lead for good at the turn when Schauffele’s par putt lipped out on No. 9.
Schauffele started struggling with his driver, missing four straight fairways. Clark kept the pressure on sinking birdie putts at No. 10 and 12 sandwiched in between a Schauffele bogey on No. 11, pushing the lead to four strokes with six holes left to play.
Clark matched Schauffele’s birdies at the 14th and 15th holes to maintain a four-shot edge heading into the difficult closing three holes known as the Green Mile.
From there, the only real drama was whether he’d break McIlroy’s tournament record.
But Clark played the final three holes in 1 over, bogeying the 18th.
McIlroy, playing for the first time since missing the cut at the Masters, played the final three rounds in 3-over par, including a 72 on Sunday to finish even par for the tournament.
He had nine top 10 finishes in 11 starts including wins in 2010, 2015 and 2021 at Quail Hollow, but this was his worst outing since missing the cut in 12 years ago.
Check out “Watts” in Wyndham Clark’s bag below.
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees) – Shaft: Accra TZ Six ST 60 M5
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 (15 degrees) – Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX
Putter: Odyssey Jailbird Versa – Grip: SuperStroke Zenergy Tour 3.0 17”
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x