Denver native Wyndham Clark sets course record with 60 at 105-year-old Pebble Beach Golf Links to take lead in AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am; fellow local Mark Hubbard also in top 5
By Gary Baines – 2/3/2024
A few weeks ago, in a phone interview with ColoradoGolf.org, Wyndham Clark noted that the key to him taking it to yet another level — following his two-win season on the PGA Tour in 2023 — is his putting.
“Last year, I wasn’t as consistent in my putting,” the Denver native said on Jan. 14. “… I’m really hoping that’s the one area where I improve this year, probably the most, is putts made kind of from 10 to 20 feet. That’s one thing, if I can do that better, I think that would get me to that next level.”
Well, mission accomplished — for one round, at least. Actually, make that MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
Clark, the Valor Christian alum who honed his game at Cherry Hills Country Club growing up, put together a jaw-dropping, course-record round of 12-under-par 60 in lift, clean and place conditions on Saturday at Pebble Beach Golf Links for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. And for that he can certainly thank his putter, though he left two birdie putts and one eagle attempt just short of the cup, but dead on line, in the last three holes.
Specifically, on Saturday Clark sankmore than 215 feet worth of putts — including those from just off the green, which don’t count toward his official total — and drained an amazing five putts of more than 24 feet. But his total from the last four holes combined was less than 3 feet — combined.
Clark, who spent 3-4 hours early in the week working on his putting and tweaking several things, indicated Saturday was the best putting round he’s ever had.
“I made a ton of putts,” the impending Colorado Golf Hall of Famer said. “… I really had a good feel on the greens. More than anything it’s just really rewarding to finally make some putts.”
With two eagles, nine birdies and one bogey on Saturday, Clark fell just short of becoming the 13th person in PGA Tour history to break 60. For that, he can look back on birdie attempts on holes 16 and 17 that finished just inches short of the cup.
Wyndham Clark had a scorecard to remember on Saturday.
The 30-year-old still could have shot 59 with an eagle on the famed par-5 18th, where he did indeed make a 3 on Friday. On Saturday, he hit a 4-iron from 230 yards to 26 feet, 5 inches from the hole. But his uphill attempt at additional history ended up about 6 inches short. He tapped in for his 60, the course record at the 105-year-old Pebble Beach Golf Links layout. Then-Texas Tech golfer Hurly Long previously held the mark at Pebble Beach, with his 61 coming at the 2017 Carmel Cup college tournament.
“To have the course record at a place like this, you don’t even dream about stuff like this really,” Clark said. “I hope it stands for a long time because this is one of my favorite places.”
Saturday’s 60, which included a 28 on the front nine, also was Clark’s personal low score, surpassing the 61 he posted at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open.
All that left Clark — who won twice on the PGA Tour last year, including the U.S. Open — with a one-stroke lead over Ludvig Aberg after the Denver native vaulted 22 spots up the leaderboard. Following the final round, the winner at Pebble Beach will receive $3.6 million in this signature event on the PGA Tour.
“It was honestly surreal,” Clark said of his day. “You start as good as I did, you kind of get in the zone. You get to the back nine, and that’s where you start thinking about 59. I’m honestly really proud of how I played. To shoot a score like I did at this golf course is pretty special.
“I didn’t think about really shooting 59 until I got on 18 tee box. That’s when I look back and went, ‘Oh my gosh, I just had three inches in my last two putts and I would have been 13 under going into 18.’ Then to have a chance to shoot 59 with that putt (on 18) was pretty special.
“I’m really excited with what I did today.”
For the record, Clark holed a 39-foot putt for eagle on 2, a 42-footer for eagle on 6, a 29-footer for birdie on 8, a 24-foot for birdie on 9 and a 26-foot bogey on 12, where he had a buried lie in the sand and hit his second shot left-handed. He called that his putt there “the round saver.” Add on three other putts made of 10-plus feet, and you have one extraordinary day on the greens at Pebble Beach.
For his par on No. 16, Clark benefited from getting a free drop after his ball went left off the tee into the deep rough, but close enough to a burrowing animal hole that he received relief. From there, his approach finished just over 10 feet from the hole. But he left his birdie try just short.
Denver native Mark Hubbard shares fourth place going into the final round.
Clark is by no means the only Denver native in contention for the title at Pebble Beach. Colorado Academy graduate Mark Hubbard, looking for his first PGA Tour victory, shares fourth place at 14 under par, three back of Clark. Hubbard’s eight-birdie, one bogey day gave him a 7-under-par 65 on Saturday.
With strong winds and additional rain expected on Sunday, it’s questionable whether conditions will allow the tournament to be completed then. A Monday finish also remains a possibility.
For all the scores 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 ColoradoGolf.org since 2009. He was inducted into the Colorado Golf Hall of Fame in 2022. He owns and operates ColoradoGolfJournal.com