Make That 3

With 4th round of AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am canceled, Denver native Wyndham Clark notches 3rd PGA Tour win, joining fellow Colorado high school grads Hale Irwin, Steve Jones and Dale Douglass in the 3-plus category; Clark recently turned down overtures from LIV Golf; Denver’s Mark Hubbard places 4th at Pebble

By Gary Baines – 2/4/2024

Wyndham Clark’s third career PGA Tour victory came not thanks to a tremendous final-round surge or a collapse by his opponents, but via a statement.

At 7:15 p.m. (MT) on Sunday, the PGA Tour rules committee issued the following words, which gave the Denver native the title at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where play had been canceled on Sunday due to strong winds and rain but which was expected to resume on Monday:

“The storm affecting the Monterey Peninsula throughout the day Sunday is forecast to continue into the early hours of Monday with very strong winds. Although conditions are forecast to improve through the morning Monday, after consultation with Monterey County emergency authorities, who have implemented a Shelter in Place order until early tomorrow morning for the greater Pebble Beach community — and out of an abundance of caution for the safety of all constituents — there will be no play on Monday.

“Therefore, in accordance with the PGA Tour Regulations, the tournament results will be final through the conclusion of 54 holes.”

And with that — and thanks to shooting a course-record 60 on Saturday — Clark scored his third PGA Tour victory in nine months. For the record, the only other player who has won three times (or more) over the last nine months on the PGA Tour is Viktor Hovland.

“Everyone wants to win a tournament in 72 holes and sleep on a lead and perform on a Sunday and come down the stretch and embrace your caddie on 18 and do all of that,” Clark said on Sunday night. “That’s what you always dream of and want. … (But) to almost shoot 59 (and) shoot 60 and break the course record … When I shook hands and waved to the crowd, it really felt like I just won the tournament, so I don’t feel like I got cheated at all.”

The one-stroke victory over Ludvig Aberg was worth $3.6 million, as this was a signature event with almost all of the top players in the world competing. (Feb. 5 Update: The win lifted Clark to No. 6 in the world rankings, up four spots from last week.)

“It’s been a whirlwind,” Clark said. “Not just what happened (Saturday), but then having crazy weather today. You finish off the round so amazing and have an awesome day. It was really weird because everyone was celebrating and congratulating me with obviously having an amazing round. I even said to myself and the people, ‘Man, I feel like I won the tournament with how much media I was doing, yet I had another round to play.’ That was a little unique and weird. 

“And then today obviously waking up and they canceled the day, your mind is just sitting there and you’re trying not to go too far into the future and you’re trying to get your mind right to play for the fourth round. And then I get a call and they say ‘Hey, we’re going to cancel it and you’re the winner.’ It’s just been a whirlwind of emotions and feelings. It’s pretty surreal right now.”

Though he didn’t know it at the time, Clark secured the triumph due to his Pebble Beach Golf Links course-record round of 12-under-par 60 on Saturday. The Valor Christian alum two-putted the 54th — and now final — hole for the difference-maker, recording his personal career-best single-round score.

On Saturday, Clark sank a remarkable 215 feet worth of putts, including a 26-footer for bogey from just off the green on No. 12, which technically doesn’t count toward his official “putting” distance total, though he did use his putter for the stroke.  

The 30-year-old sank five putts of more than 24 feet on Saturday, plus three more of 10 feet or longer. For the round, the 2023 U.S. Open champion carded two eagles, eight birdies and a bogey — the latter after hitting an awkward-stance chip left-handed. 

Clark thus becomes just the fourth player who grew up in Colorado to win at least three times on the PGA Tour, joining Hale Irwin (20 victories), Steve Jones (eight) and Dale Douglass (three). Irwin, Jones and Douglass are all in the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame — along with the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame — and Clark will be inducted into the CGHOF later this year.

Interestingly, Clark, Irwin and Jones all claimed titles in the U.S. Open and what is now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Irwin won three U.S. Opens and one PGA Tour event at Pebble Beach. Jones claimed one U.S. Open title and one at Pebble Beach — a feat which Clark matched on Sunday.

Clark went 67-60 in his two rounds at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

In Clark’s case, his victory at Pebble Beach came despite a not-so-spectacular starting round of even-par 72 at Spyglass Hill. But in his two days at Pebble Beach Golf Links, he went 67-60. In those 36 holes he made a remarkable three eagles and 14 birdies.

That was good enough to overcome Aberg, the phenom who went bogey-free the last two rounds. Clark, who honed his game as a youngster at Cherry Hills Country Club, finished a stroke ahead of Aberg and two ahead of Matthieu Pavon, who won a week earlier at the Farmers Insurance Classic.

“This tournament is very special to me and my caddie, John (Ellis), mainly because it’s both of our favorite place in the world,” Clark said. “My caddie grew up in San Jose, only an hour and a half away. He has always told me that, ‘Wyndham, if there’s one thing you can do in your career, I don’t care if you win a hundred times or one time, I just hope one of them is at Pebble Beach’ because it was the place he always dreamed of winning at. He played in tournaments here, he played in the AT&T pro-am, I believe he played in the U.S. Open here. So it’s very special to him, which makes it special to me.

“So I’ve always told him I’m going to make it happen. So for us to pull it off and in the fashion that we did was pretty awesome. When we both found out, we were kind of crying and laughing and celebrating on the phone. Then he quickly rushed over to where I’m staying to see me and we’ve just been hugging and talking about all the great things and the shots and how amazing the last 36 hours have been. So it’s very special.”

But, not knowing what awaited him on Sunday, Clark had a restless night on Saturday, waking up at 2 a.m., then via alarm at 5:15 or 5:30 when the Tour started updating players. He spent the day playing some gin with friends, watched a movie, walking around the area to see weather-related damage and played ping-pong.

“Because there was that small ounce of thinking that ‘Hey, there’s a chance this might be called,’ my mind started wandering and it was so hard for me to not think about it — that there’s a chance that it could be canceled,” Clark said. “So yeah, it was very tough.

“I was talking with people and trying to distract myself as much as possible. I was telling anyone that texted me ‘Hey, did they cancel it?’ I said ‘Nope, we’re going to play tomorrow and I’m getting myself ready.’ I was really trying to get myself ready. It was very tough being it was a unique situation to say the least.”

Also on Sunday, Clark admitted that he had had discussions with LIV Golf about possibly joining that circuit — and leaving the PGA Tour — before deciding to stay put.

“I definitely met with LIV and went through those discussions,” said Clark, who noted he sought out the counsel of top players on both sides of the aisle. “I wanted to see what they could bring to the table. I ultimately declined going to LIV because I felt like I still have a lot of things left in the tank on the PGA Tour and I wanted to chase records, I wanted to chase world ranking. My dream is to try to be one of the top players in the world, if not the top player. I just grew up always imagining winning PGA Tour events. So I ultimately, I chose my legacy over LIV, and that’s really what it came down to.

“At least for this season, I am 100 percent set on the PGA Tour and I want to try to get to as high in the world as I possibly can.”

Not to be overlooked with Clark earning another big headline was fellow Denver native Mark Hubbard joining him in the top five on Sunday. The Colorado Academy graduate, who was married at Pebble Beach, went 69-68-65 to end up 14 under par, good for a share of fourth place. It marked the fifth top-five finish on the PGA Tour for Hubbard, who is looking for his first victory on that circuit.

The former Colorado resident earned a career-best $877,500.

Meanwhile, Clark joined a fellow 2024 Colorado Golf Hall of Fame inductee — Jennifer Kupcho — with three victories on the top tours for their respective genders. Kupcho won three times on the LPGA circuit in 2022.

For all the results from the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, CLICK HERE.

About the Writer: Gary Baines has covered golf in Colorado continuously since 1983. He was a sports writer at the Daily Camera newspaper in Boulder, then the sports editor there, and has written regularly for since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates