'We Played Twilight Golf' - Wyndham Clark Questions Late US Open Tee Times

The US Open co-leader says he and Rickie Fowler had a disadvantage in the latter stages of round three due to the lack of light at LACC

Wyndham Clark looks on during the US Open third round
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wyndham Clark says he "couldn't see" for the last two holes of Saturday's US Open third round due to darkness after late tee times at LA Country Club.

The final group didn't tee off until 3.40pm on Saturday afternoon, meaning not only was it very late viewing in Europe and later-than-usual timings for the US east coast, but the golfers also struggled with vision at the conclusion of the round.

Clark said they were playing "twilight golf" and put his bogey on the 17th as well as playing partner Rickie Fowler's bogey on 18 down to the darkness as the clouds began to sweep over LACC around 8pm local time.

"Yeah, I mean, it's a little ridiculous that we teed off that late," Clark said after his one-under-par 69.

"I would say right around hole 15 or 16 it started getting to where you couldn't see that well. I mean, I don't personally understand why we teed off - we played twilight golf.

"At the end, it was - the last two holes I 100 percent think my bogey on 17 was because I couldn't see, and I think Rickie's bogey on 18 was because he couldn't see.

"I'd like to see us go off an hour and a half, two hours earlier. If we had a playoff tomorrow we wouldn't even be able to play the playoff tomorrow because it was so dark.

"With that, I'm not trying to make an excuse, but it definitely was a challenge. 17 and 18, my putt on 17, I literally couldn't see it, and we just played off of feel and how Rickie's putt came in, and then my putt on 18, same thing.

"John [his caddie John Ellis] was like, 'well, it's kind of around here. Make sure you hit it soft because we need to - we don't want to blow this by. We need a tap-in coming in'.

"So it's kind of tough and it's crazy to think that we're doing that on the last two holes of a Major when we could have teed off two hours earlier. Hopefully tomorrow we don't have that issue."

Clark gets his wish as US Open final round tee times have been moved forward 1hr 10mins for Sunday's round four as the USGA makes some time for a playoff if needed and the trophy ceremony.

The Coloradan, who now lives in Arizona, said the later tee times were probably for TV but admitted that he and Fowler had a disadvantage over the closing holes. He even said the pair could have quite easily called it and come back to finish in the morning.

"Yeah, I mean, it's TV, but what is it, midnight on the East Coast? Personally I don't quite understand it.

"I know we're West Coast and whatnot and I know they probably have the say, but I would like to think that they would step in and be like, hey, we want to make sure it's in the light and we have time.

"Definitely Rickie and I had a little bit of a disadvantage on those last two holes playing in the dark. That's all I have to say on that.

"I've never really played a final round of any tournament in the dark. I have in my first few years on tour, I'm the last tee time off, and there's many times when we're trying to finish our last hole and I have to come back the next day, but it is crazy to think that we almost - honestly, we both could have called it if we wanted to on that putting green and said, 'hey, I can't see', and we'd play tomorrow, and I think that would look pretty poorly on both sides of it."

The recent Wells Fargo Championship winner currently ranks 32nd in the world. He co-leads heading into the final round with Rickie Fowler at 10-under-par.

They go off at 2.30pm local time (5.30pm ET/10.30pm BST).

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x