2023 was the year Wyndham Clark broke out

Wyndham Clark lifts the trophy on the 18th green after the final round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at The Los Angeles Country Club on June 18, 2023.

Wyndham Clark picked up his first two PGA Tour wins of his career in 2023, which included a U.S. Open title at Los Angeles Country Club.

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Ah, 2023. The year everything changed … again. For the second straight year, we left 2023 with a drastically different perspective of professional golf than we entered. Now, as we look back at the year that was — with LIV major championships, Ryder Cup controversies and oh so many other stories — we’re remembering the 15 biggest moments that defined the year in golf. Let’s get digging.

Biggest Golf Moments of 2023 …
No. 15: Viktor Hovland’s arrival 
No. 14: Fowler, Day back in the winner’s circle 
No. 13: Brian Harman’s Open rout 
No. 12: The Michael Block Party 

Biggest Golf Moments of 2023 No. 11: The year Wyndham Clark broke out

We should have noticed the warning signs: Wyndham Clark was ready to win at Los Angeles Country Club when the U.S. Open visited in June.

He won for the first time in his PGA Tour career a month earlier, shooting 63-68 on the weekend at the Wells Fargo Championship. Sure, he missed the cut in his next start, but we’ll give the guy a break, coming off a $3.6 million payday and all. He was T12 at the Memorial before he arrived in L.A. Clark came a week early and loved the course, too.

“I felt like there was a lot of holes that fit my eye, and I liked the greens, and I loved the design of the golf course, which usually I play good on courses where I feel comfortable and I like the design of it,” he said after his first-round 64 when the tournament finally started. “There’s a lot of creativity out there, so if you get in trouble, there’s some holes where you’ve really got to be creative and have some fun, and I typically like doing that.”

He mentioned he had the monkey off his back, too, with the Wells Fargo win still fresh. “It just breeds confidence,” he said.

He wasn’t kidding.

Clark was T3 after that first round, and he claimed a share of the 54-hole lead alongside Rickie Fowler heading into Sunday. The fan favorite for that final round? You guessed it.

“My mental coach, Julie, she told me, ‘Every time you hear someone chant Rickie, think of your goals and get cocky and go show them who you are,'” Clark said. “I did that. It was like 100-plus times today I reminded myself of the goals.

“Now maybe they’ll be chanting my name in the future.”

You know what happens from here. Fowler faded. Clark shot 70 and held off Rory McIlroy despite making bogeys on 15 and 16.

But what the week in L.A. did for Clark was open doors. He qualified for his first Tour Championship (T3), made his first Ryder Cup team (1-1-1 record) and got invited to his first Tiger Woods-hosted Hero World Challenge (19th-place finish notwithstanding…). Now he’s World No. 10.

So, if 2023 was Clark’s breakout year, what’s coming in 2024? We’re about to find out.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.