Plus: How the U.S. Champion reversed a path to self-destruction.
Photos by Stephen Denton
There is a simple explanation for why Wyndham Clark exploded into the elite echelon of professional golf in his fifth season on the PGA Tour. To understand how he won his first tour title and then the US Open in a span of six weeks and needed only six months to move from outside the top 150 in the world ranking to inside the top 10, recall the final 20 minutes of Clark’s third round at Los Angeles Country Club in June.
One shot behind Rickie Fowler and playing his second shot at the 17th hole, Clark flared his approach right. It bounded into a penalty area, among rocks and fescue well below the putting surface. Instead of attempting the risky shot, he took a drop, chipped it to six feet and rolled in the bogey putt to fall two back of Fowler.
A hole later on the…