Clark: Better than Rory comments taken out of context

Ronan MacNamara

Wyndham Clark (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Reigning US Open champion Wyndham Clark moved to clarify his comments from last week that he is ‘better than Rory McIlroy’ stating that they were taken out of context.

In an interview with the Golf Channel Clark claimed that he liked to think he was better than McIlroy, having ousted him down the stretch of the US Open in LA Country Club. These comments drew widespread criticism across social media and the Ryder Cup rookie admitted they were blown out of proportion and that he has the utmost respect for Rory having looked up to him throughout his career.

“I want everyone to know, I think it was taken out of context. If you listen to the whole interview, I praised Rory and said how much I respect him and how good I think he is and how he’s one of the best players in the last 20 years,” explained Clark.

“And what I said was I think I’m better than him when I’m playing good  if I don’t think I’m better than every player out here, then what am I doing? If I’m trying to be the best player in the world, which is what I’m trying to be, I’ve got to believe that.

“Right now, maybe I’m not. He’s had a way better career than me, that’s obvious. But I also have to have that self-belief that I can beat anyone out here.

“It is kind of funny to me that people took it that way because they kind of saw that I’m better than him and I want to beat him. Well, of course I want to beat him and of course I believe that I can beat him.

“Yeah, it’s interesting how things get taken out of context.”

Clark clarified his comments by stating that they were a mark of his self belief, that he can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best golfers in the world and beat them.

“If I say I think he’s better than me and he’s going to beat me, then I’m going to get ridiculed because people don’t think I have any self-belief; and then if I have self-belief, which I do in myself, people take it out of context either way, so it was kind of a tough question.

“But to the part of running into Rory, I don’t know if Rory saw the full interview or if he just saw the little snippet that everyone is running with or if he’s seen it at all. I have not seen him or talked to him. I would love to talk to him because I imagine he’d probably give me some jabs here and there.

“Like I said, I have so much respect for Rory. I’ve always looked up to him. Even when I was in college, Rory was winning majors. I’m like, man, one day I’d love to be Rory McIlroy.

“By no means did I say anything that was trying to belittle what he did or be cocky or arrogant; it’s more just self-belief in myself. I’d love to get a chance to play against him this week, and if it doesn’t happen, that’s fine.

“Anytime I get Rory in a pairing, I’m excited because I like to measure myself up against the best players in the world and see how I fare.”

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