‘Everyone Kind Of Wrote Me Off’ – Clark Says Being Underestimated Inspired US Open Win

Wyndham Clark says the fact he was not spoken about as a contender for the title gave him the impetus to win

Wyndham Clark celebrates after winning the 2023 US Open
Wyndham Clark says being underestimated fuelled his US Open victory
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wyndham Clark says he used the fact he was underestimated as inspiration to win the US Open.

Clark entered the tournament 32nd in the world rankings with no Major wins to his name. That had all changed by Sunday evening, even though he began the final round up against the likes of four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, five-time PGA Tour winner Rickie Fowler and World No.1 Scottie Scheffler.

Clark had served notice that he was running into some excellent form with his win in the Wells Fargo Championship in May, but he has largely flown under the radar in recent months, despite a string of strong performances.

Speaking to Sirius XM’s PGA Tour Radio, Clark revealed those who were paying attention would have seen his Los Angeles Country Club victory coming. He said: “People really watching the golf over the last, whatever, months, I feel like maybe other than Scottie I was playing better golf than all of them to be honest.

“I’ve made a million cuts, I’ve contended in a lot of tournaments. I had a really good chance to win at Memorial, I won at Wells... had a chance to win at New Orleans, had a chance to win in Dominican, had a chance to win at the Phoenix Open, so I’ve had a lot of really good chances to win. “

While that underdog status may have worked in his favour, though, Clark admitted the fact most didn’t see him as a contender had annoyed him. He continued: “It kind of p***** me off walking around and everyone was chanting ‘Rickie’ and ‘Rory’ and I get it, they’re fan favourites, but everyone kind of wrote me off. Even JT in his tweet was like: ‘I see Xander coming out hot’ and this and that - no mention of me and I was like: ‘Alright, boys, you know, get ready for it.’”

Wyndham Clark after holing his winning putt in the 2023 US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Even then, Clark revealed his form wasn’t as good as it could have been in the opening rounds, despite remaining well in contention going into the weekend. However, he revealed it improved just at the right time.

He said: “To be honest I wasn’t hitting my irons that great early in the week and as the week started going on I felt like my best golf was still out there and it obviously got tougher on the weekend but I felt like I was getting better and better as the week went on so it definitely fuelled some fire having no one rooting for me.”

There was little time for Clark to recuperate following his win as he plays in the latest designated event on the PGA Tour, the Travelers Championship, this week. Before the tournament, Masters champion Jon Rahm urged Clark to “make sure you celebrate” and added: “After winning I'm pretty sure he doesn't care how it goes this week.”

Even with the emotional rigours of the US Open and the quick turnaround from California to Connecticut, considering his form, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Clark challenge at TPC River Highlands too.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.