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US Open

Wyndham Clark trying to regain his form


Wyndham Clark walked off the second tee during his practice round at the U.S. Open on Wednesday, the sun just beginning to rise over Pinehurst No. 2, and slowly went down the rope line signing flag after flag for eager kids

Wyndham Clark signs autographs.
Wyndham Clark signs autographs.AP

Most called him "Mr. Clark." A couple simply called him "Wyndham," as if they had known him forever.

It was hard to believe the golf world was just getting to know him a year ago.

Yes, most who follow the PGA Tour knew that Clark had been grinding away for years, and come close to winning, before his breakthrough at the Wells Fargo a couple hours away at Quail Hollow in Charlotte. But it wasn't until his one-shot victory over Rory McIlroy in the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club that casual fans began taking notice of him.

Clark won again at rainy Pebble Beach in February, but the run-up to his U.S. Open title defense has been tough. He played four rounds over par in his return to Quail Hollow before missing the cut at the PGA Championship and the Memorial.

"I have to work on my expectations, just not putting so much pressure on myself," he said. "It is tough. I mean, it's obviously challenging being one of the top players, especially doing it as quickly as I did. There's ebbs and flows in the game of golf."

Clark marveled at the way Scottie Scheffler has managed them, then pointed out that it isn't so easy for everyone else.

"There's a lot of other guys that struggle a lot of the weeks of the year and play good maybe just a few events," Clark said. "I mean, I've been kind of bummed as of late with my game. I'm always reminded when I get on these practice tees and hit good shots, I'm still doing a lot of good things in practice, makes me feel like I'm not far."