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Wyndham Clark Fends Off Rory McIlroy to Claim U.S. Open Title

Wyndham Clark Fends Off Rory McIlroy to Claim U.S. Open Title
(UPI/Alamy)

Wyndham Clark earned a maiden major triumph holding off Rory McIlroy to claim a one-shot victory at the 123rd U.S. Open in Los Angeles.

The 29-year-old American entered the final round joint top for the lead but held onto it throughout the day in an entertaining Sunday.

With four shots to play, Clark established a three-shot lead but back-to-back bogeys saw his lead cut to only one but he held his nerve to card a level-par 70 and finish in 10 under to secure the biggest win of his career so far following his victory at the Wells Fargo Championship last month.

“US Opens are tough,” Clark said speaking to Sky Sports. “I felt at ease though and kept saying to myself, ‘I can do this, I can do this’.”

Clark went onto dedicate this victory to his late mother who passed away in 2013 as a result of breast cancer.

“I just felt like my mum was watching over me today,” Clark said after clinching victory.

“She can’t be here – I miss you mum – but I just feel like I’ve worked so hard and dreamed about this moment for so long.

“There’s been so many times I’ve visualised about being here in front of you guys and winning this championship. I just feel like it was my time.

“She called me ‘winner’ when I was little, so she would just say, ‘I love you, winner’. She had that mantra of play big.

“I know my mom is proud of me. She’s always been proud of me, regardless of how I’m doing or what I’m doing.

“All I really wish is that my mom could be here and I could just hug her and we could celebrate together.

“She was so positive and such a motivator in what she did. She’d be crying tears of joy.”

Rory McIlroy carded a 70 to finish on 9 under as his nine-year wait to add to his four major wins continues. The World No. 3’s last major triumph occurred at the US PGA Championship at Valhalla in 2014.

“I’m getting closer,” McIlroy said. “The more I keep putting myself in these positions, sooner or later it’s going to happen for me. Just got to regroup and get focused for Hoylake in a few weeks’ time.

“The last real two chances I’ve had at majors I feel like have been pretty similar performances, like St Andrews last year and then here. Not doing a lot wrong, but I didn’t make a birdie since the first hole today.

“Just trying to be a little more, I guess, efficient with my opportunities and my looks. When you’re in contention going into the final round of a US Open, I played the way I wanted to play. There were two or three shots over the course of the round that I’d like to have back.

“I’ll play Travelers [Championship] next week, I’ll play the Scottish Open, but I’m focused on making sure that I’m ready to go for Liverpool.”

World No. 1, Scottie Scheffler came third on 7 under, Cameron Smith in fourth on 6 under and there was a tie for fifth between Rickie Fowler, Tommy Fleetwood and Min Woo Lee on 5 under.

The next major on this seasons calendar is The 151st Open taking place between 16-23 July at Royal Liverpool Golf Club.