Reigning U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark had his composure and said he was proud of the way he played en route to Pebble Beach’s course record round of 12-under 60, but you can’t convince me this man wasn’t in shambles over missing a golden opportunity to shoot 59.
Clark soared to the top of the leaderboard thanks to his Saturday surge, and sits one stroke ahead of Ludvig Aberg through 54 holes at one of the planet’s most picturesque golf courses. How he didn’t have a complete breakdown on live TV afterwards is beyond me.
“I didn’t even visualize a day this good…it was honestly surreal. You get out in the day and you start as good as I did, and then you kind of get in the zone […] and get to the back nine and then that’s when you start thinking about 59.
I’m honestly really proud with how i played and to shoot a score like I did on this golf course was pretty special.”
Good on you, Wyndham. Way to get through that highlight package, too!
In the big-picture scheme of things, he’s sitting pretty, but if you think I’m being melodramatic about his 59, and you’re box score scouting this after the fact, you’ll soon realize why this was such a heartbreaker for Clark.
To be in range of a 59, you have to start off hot, and that’s precisely what Clark did, going 10 under through his first 11 holes. The man went out in 28 and was on absolute fire with the putter.
…And if you want to shoot 59, you need some good breaks and/or extraordinary recovery ability. Clark’s first bad swing in seemingly forever at the par-3 12th got him a fried egg lie, which led to him sinking an absurd putt from the back fringe for bogey.
CUT TO: Wyndham Clark alone on Saturday night watching the last three holes back:
Somebody needs to splice in the footage of those putts on the monitor with McConaughey’s crying reaction shots. Photoshop Wyndham’s head in on top of Matthew while we’re at it. At least that’s what I’d be doing. Maybe Wyndham Clark is a bigger, tougher man than me. He does still have a golf tournament to win. Being a champion on the PGA Tour at Pebble Beach would be one of the crowning achievements in one’s career.
Bad weather is expected to hit the area and could postpone the final round. Clark may even win outright if it’s decided to cut the event short on account of Mother Nature. Definitely don’t envy Clark if he has to play 18 more holes and protect that lead. It’d be a shame to not see him go head-to-head against the brightest young star in Aberg at such an iconic venue, though.
It’s got to be a challenge for Clark, grappling with how unstable greatness in golf is, to nearly shoot 59. He can’t dwell on it, yet he would’ve been only the fifth man ever on the PGA Tour to go 13 under par in one round.
Breaking 60 isn't as rare as it used to be, but shooting -13 is still quite a rare feat. It's only been done four times in PGA Tour history:
Al Geiberger ('77) Chip Beck ('91) David Duval ('99) Adam Hadwin ('17)
Wyndham needs to birdie 2 of his last 4 holes to do it.