Why Wells Fargo champ Wyndham Clark doesn't want to see a number on his golf ball
Wyndham Clark had been in the hunt plenty but with zero wins in 133 starts on the PGA Tour, it was inevitable he would get a question about his position as the 54-hole leader at the Wells Fargo Championship and what he had learned from past opportunities.
“I'd say then I wasn't as good of a player as I am now,” Clark noted after Saturday's third round, in which he shot a 63 at Quail Hollow Club to jump to a two-shot lead. “I also think mentally, mentally I was a lot more impatient and fragile I think out there. I'm excited to see how I handle the pressure tomorrow.”
As it turns out, that excitement was well founded and the pressure handled expertly. After opening with a bogey, Clark found himself one behind Xander Schauffele through seven holes before playing the next seven in five under par. The dash to the finish resulted in the 29-year-old Colorado native earning his first PGA Tour win.
After birdieing the eighth, Clark hit pitching wedge from 159 yards to six feet on the par-4 ninth only to lip out the go-ahead birdie try. However, he got the lead anyway as Schauffele three-putted the same hole. An up-and-down from the sand at the par-5 10th allowed Clark to take a two-shot lead. Then another sand save, this one for par at the 11th, stretched the lead to three after Schauffele bogeyed. A lob wedge approach from 115 yards that got a good bounce and ended up 19 feet from the hole on the 12th provided another opportunity that Clark cashed in to extend the lead to four. Birdies at 14 and 15 matched Schauffele’s to keep the margin intact.
Clark’s irons are primarily Titleist’s 620 CB with True Temper Dynamic Gold X7 shafts, clubs the former All-American at the University of Oregon says look like a blade but give him the height he needs on his longer irons while producing divots that aren’t too deep. Clark ranked first in strokes gained/approach as well as greens in regulation.
Vokey Design SM9
WHAT IT DOES: The SM9 builds on the SM8’s center-of-gravity position in front of the face that assists squaring the club at impact. This version slightly raises the CG vertically by adding weight higher in the clubhead. Progressive hosel lengths also raise the CG, which promotes a lower, more controllable flight.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The SM9 features the first groove revision in a Vokey wedge since the SM6. A new “spin milled” cutting process creates the entire scoreline instead of just part of it. The result is a more consistent scoreline edge radius, allowing the grooves to be sharper and closer to the USGA limit. Confused by all the options? Here’s some advice from designer Bob Vokey: Go with more bounce in the sand wedge and less bounce in the lob wedge. Read more>>
His wedges are Titleist Vokey SM9s, with Clark’s lob wedge a 60-degree Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks with an A grind. “Probably the most important club in the bag for me is this A grind,” Clark told Titleist last year. “it’s a low-bounce club that is very versatile.” Clark ranked T-2 in scrambling for the week, converting 75 percent of his chances.
As for his ball, Clark is a low-spin player who likes the added spin of the Titleist ProV1x. As for what number he prefers, well, it’s no number at all.
“I dot out the numbers on the ball,” Clark told Golf Digest a few years ago. “It’s not really a superstition or anything, but maybe it is. I never want to know what the number is and get into the ‘I played well with a number 1 so I’ll keep using that’ type of thing. So I black them out and have no idea what I’m playing number wise.”
Win No. 1, however, is a number he is unlikely to forget.
What Wyndham Clark had in the bag at the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Driver: Titleist TSi3 (Accra TZ Six ST 60 M5) 9 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2, 16.5 degrees
Irons (3): Titleist T200; (4-9): Titleist 620 CB; (PW): Titleist Vokey SM9
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (52, 56 degrees); Titleist Vokey WedgeWorks (60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey O-Works Jailbird Mini
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