Will Wyndham Clark's Rory McIlroy Comments Light The Ryder Cup Fire?

The American got the better of McIlroy at the US Open in June and wants to do so again at the Ryder Cup next week

Wyndham Clark on the second tee during round three of the 2023 PGA Tour Championship on August 26, 2023 at East Lake Golf Club
Wyndham Clark fancies his chances against McIlroy at Marco Simone
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ryder Cup rookie Wyndham Clark has set his sights on a match-up with Rory McIlroy, and the American is confident he has what it takes to get the best of the Northern Irishman once again.

Clark upset the odds in June when he surged to victory at the US Open to claim his maiden Major championship. The American engaged in a final-round duel with McIlroy at Los Angeles Country Club, with Clark holding his nerve to beat the Ulsterman by one shot and deny McIlroy his first Major since 2014.

Now, ahead of the Ryder Cup, Clark is eyeing up a rematch between the pair and the chance to prove his skills once again. 

“I have the utmost respect for Rory – he is one of the great ambassadors of our game. He is obviously one of the best of all time and he is still going so he can be that. I have tons of respect for Rory and because of that respect, I also want to beat him. I like to think I am better than him and I want to prove that," Clark said, speaking to Golf Today.

"I think that would be really fun for the fans too. [Two] long-ball hitters. We have similar games in that respect. It would be a little bit of David and Goliath. I am hoping to get that chance. Regardless of who I play, I am really excited. But that one would be a lot of fun.”

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Clark enjoyed a breakthrough year on the PGA Tour this season, winning the Wells Fargo Championship in May before his US Open victory a month later. Such performances saw him finish third in the season-long FedEx Cup standings and earned him an automatic spot on Zach Johnson's US Ryder Cup squad.

Despite being set to make his debut in the tournament, Clark has his eyes set on taking down some of Europe's biggest players and named two other stars he'd love to take on in singles competition.

Wyndham Clark and Rory McIlroy embrace after the fourth round of the 2023 US Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“One guy I would love to have a piece of, because the one loss I had in college was to him, is Viktor Hovland," he added. "He clipped me on the 18th hole. If there is any competition or anyone I would like another chance at, it would be Viktor.

“And Jon Rahm. I live in Arizona and so does Jon. We play together and there is always trash talk and, even when we are having a friendly match, we want to make sure we don’t lose to each other. Even if we lose to the other guys in the group, we don’t want to lose to each other. Any of those guys would be a lot of fun to play against.”

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He is now a freelance journalist who also works for The Independent, Metro, UEFA and Stats Perform.