Red, White & Blue

Denver native Wyndham Clark goes from winning the U.S. Open to playing for U.S. in Ryder Cup; he becomes first Colorado high school grad since 1991 to earn a spot in the high-profile match-play event

By Gary Baines – 7/31/2023

For the first time in more than 30 years, a golfer who grew up in Colorado will compete in the Ryder Cup matches.

After a year in which he won twice on the PGA Tour, very notably including the U.S. Open, Denver native Wyndham Clark will be representing the U.S. in the Ryder Cup that will be contested Sept. 29-Oct. 1. Europe will be the home team this time around, in Rome.

Clark, a graduate of Valor Christian who won the 2010 CGA Amateur and the 2017 Pac-12 individual title at Boulder Country Club, was announced Monday as an automatic qualifier for the American squad, joining Scottie Scheffler, who was named earlier. The other 10 members of the U.S. team will be decided and named at later dates.

Part of a family that held a membership at Cherry Hills Country Club, Clark will be the first Colorado high school graduate to have competed in the Ryder Cup since Hale Irwin in 1991, the last of five times the Boulder High School graduate played in the event. Dale Douglass, a product of Fort Morgan High School, teed it up in the Ryder Cup in 1969. It should be noted that despite success on the PGA Tour, Steve Jones (8 PGA Tour victories), Kevin Stadler (1) and Bob Byman (1) never competed in the Ryder Cup.

A number of golfers who lived in Colorado for a time as adults have played on the U.S. Ryder Cup team, including Dow Finsterwald (who also captained the American squad in 1977), Dave Hill, David Duval, Justin Leonard, Craig Stadler, Ed Dudley, Paul Runyan and Chris DiMarco.

“Since I started my journey in golf, I’ve had a goal of making a U.S. Ryder Cup team,” Clark said. “One of my mottos is to play big — play for something bigger than yourself. This represents an opportunity to do just that by playing for my country and hopefully inspiring young golfers. I know (U.S. captain Zach Johnson) is going to put us in the best position to win, and I can’t wait to take on this challenge alongside a great group of individuals and bring the Ryder Cup back home to America.”

Wyndham Clark has had plenty of reasons to celebrate this year.

This isn’t the first time Clark has represented his country in international matches. He played in the 2014 Arnold Palmer Cup that matched up the best college players from the U.S. and Europe. Europe won that year, 18.5-11.5. Clark went 0-2-2, losing to Jon Rahm in a singles match 4 and 3. Clark has also played in two NCAA match-play finals — in 2014 for Oklahoma State and 2017 for Oregon — and went 5-1 in the match-play portion of the NCAA nationals.

But much has transpired since then for Clark, to say the least. Just this year, after having knocked on the door so many times at PGA Tour events, Clark claimed his first title — by four strokes against a formidable field — at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. It marked the first victory on the PGA Tour by a Colorado-born golfer since Denver native Jonathan Kaye prevailed at the Buick Classic in June 2003.

The 29-year-old Clark followed that up a month later by fending off Rory McIlroy, Ricky Fowler, Scheffler, Cam Smith and Dustin Johnson, among others, to claim the U.S. Open title at Los Angeles Country Club. In doing so, Clark joined Irwin (three times) and Jones (once) as Colorado high school products who have won the U.S. Open in the last half-century.

After all his success this year — he has seven top-10 finishes this season — the long-hitting Clark now sits No. 11 in the world rankings. He’s No. 2 in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings, behind Scheffler.

“Wyndham showed incredible poise and resiliency at Los Angeles Country Club in June,” said Johnson, his Ryder Cup captain. “He’s been playing at an elite level all year and owns the most sub-par rounds on the PGA Tour in 2023. Having the ability to make a ton of birdies is exactly what is needed at a Ryder Cup. I’m pumped to have Wyndham on the U.S. Team.”

Clark lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., now, but was born and raised in Colorado. Among his notable victories in the Centennial State are the CGA Amateur at age 16 at Boulder Country Club in 2010, the Pac-12 Conference title in 2017, also at BCC, and two state high school championships while attending Valor Christian. He also qualified in the state for five U.S. Amateurs.

To see the many accomplishments Clark has had in Colorado over the years, 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