Top-20 finish for Power as Clark comes of age at Quail Hollow

Mark McGowan

Wyndham Clark celebrates - Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

A level-par round saw Seamus Power post another top-20 big event finish as Wyndham Clark put in a sublime final round to take his first PGA Tour title at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.

Starting the day tied for 16th at -7, Power made the perfect start by sticking his approach to 10 feet at the first and holing the putt to move to -8 and inside the top 10. Inexplicably, from prime position on the second fairway and wedge in hand, he’d hit one off the hosel leading to a bogey and he’d never really gain any momentum thereafter.

Another bogey came on the fifth as he’d go from fairway bunker to greenside bunker, but he’d get back to level par on the ninth after a monstrous 367-yard drive set up his second birdie of the day, but a poor bunker shot from greenside on the par-5 10th would lead put the brakes on an early back nine charge and the resulting par would be the first of nine in succession as he’d end the day as he started on -7, tied for 18th overall.


Rory McIlroy’s up-and-down week continued in the final round, the Holywood man making three birdies and an eagle but throwing in six bogeys as he’d sign off with a closing one-over 72.

The highlight of Rory’s day was undoubtedly the eagle-three at the tenth, courtesy of an incredible 72-foot putt that found the centre of the cup. There were several lowlights, but back-to-back tee shots finding the water on the 14th and 15th would both result in bogeys as the man widely considered to be one of the greatest drivers of the ball ever continues to struggle for consistency with the big stick.

Inconsistency through the entire bag has really been the story of the week for McIlroy, and he’ll now turn his attention to the PGA Championship at Oak Hill in two weeks’ time with confidence low, but unusually for the four-time major champion, with expectations to match.

At the top of the leaderboard, Wyndham Clark began the day with a two-stroke lead over world number five Xander Schauffele. Seeking his maiden PGA Tour win, Clark’s moving day 63 had put him in prime position, but Schauffele, arguably the best current player never to have won a major, had shot a third-round 64 of his own and the bookmakers expected the Olympic gold medalist to get the job done.

When Clark opened with a bogey and Schauffele birdied the third, they were tied at the top and it appeared that the bookies had it spot on. With third-placed Tyrell Hatton covering the first seven in +1, it was developing into a two-horse race and Schauffele got his nose in front with a birdie at seven as Clark’s putter was failing to comply.

Now the chaser as opposed to the chased, Clark seemed to visibly relax and got immediate reward with a smart birdie at the short eighth to draw back level, and regained the solo lead on the next as Schauffele three-putted for bogey.

With his confidence now sky high, Clark would birdie the 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th, and though Schauffele would match him on 14 and 15, a bogey on the 11th saw Clark take a four-stroke lead to the start of the ‘Green Mile.’

From there, he’d par his way to the last, and with a five-stroke lead thanks to a Schauffele three-putt on 17, had the luxury of making a bogey at the last and still claiming a four-stroke victory and the accompanying $3.6 million paycheck and, having begun the week in 30th place, vaulted himself up the US Ryder Cup rankings.

Tyrell Hatton and Harris English tied for third seven strokes back on -12, with Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott tied fifth at -11.

“I’m a little choked up,” a visibly emotional Clark said in the immediate aftermath beside the 18th green, “you know, it’s been a long five years to get to this point on tour, and I thought I would’ve had one [a win] earlier, but this one is worth the wait.

“There’s so much that goes into this, and so many times I wanted to cry and break clubs, and I did break a club sometimes in this journey, but to get to this point is so sweet and I’m here alone this week, and it’s just amazing to finally do this. My mom, obviously is not here, I wish she was but I know she’s watching and I’m just very grateful.”

“Yeah, I mean, I’ve been in this situation a couple times,” he added, “and it’s kind of prepared me for today. And obviously I didn’t pull it off in the previous times, but I just kept leaning back on those experiences. And then just the stuff I’ve worked on, I just felt like I did a great job. It’s one of the few times I felt like I’m really happy with myself.”


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