Summer 2024

Wyndham Clark wins U.S. Open, seeks to glorify God: 'God has a plan for me'

Some of the biggest names in golf were at the top of the U.S. Open leaderboard when the tournament’s final round at Los Angeles Country Club began on Sunday. Fan favorite Rickie Fowler was tied for first. Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy was one shot back. World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler was three shots back.

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

Wyndham Clark outlasted them all. The 29-year-old American shot an even-par 70 to finish at 10-under par to capture his first major and second career PGA Tour win.

Clark led by three strokes with four holes to play but bogeyed the 15th and 16th to drop back to 10-under. He closed with back-to-back pars to finish one stroke ahead of McIlroy.

Throughout his six-year professional career, Clark has been guided by his faith in God. In his post-round press conference, Clark expressed his gratitude to God for his journey through life and golf.

“God has a plan for me, and it’s obviously far greater than I ever could have imagined,” he said. “And so, being here now, I just feel so blessed. It’s honestly surreal to look back and think about the journey the last seven to 10 years.”

Though he hadn’t won a PGA Tour event until last month’s Wells Fargo Championship, Clark was always confident in his abilities. He said in his press conference on Sunday that he would yell in his car and punch things earlier in his career, wondering why he wasn’t doing the same things other guys on tour were.

He knew he was capable. His performances just weren’t showing it.

“I feel like I belong on this stage,” Clark said. “Even two, three years ago when people didn’t know who I was, I felt like I could still play and compete against the best players in the world. I felt like I’ve shown that this year.”

A highly sought-after recruit out of Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Clark initially committed to golf powerhouse Oklahoma State before transferring to Oregon in 2016. As Clark prepared for his final high school state championship in 2011, he told The Denver Post he was focused on two things: helping his team and glorifying God.

“This is bigger than just me,” he said at the time. “It’s helping my team and the school, and it’s to honor and glorify God.”

His social media accounts include multiple references to his faith. Clark wrote “Love Jesus” in his Twitter bio and celebrated Easter in 2016 with an Instagram post captioned by the Bible verse 1 Peter 1:3.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Wyndham Clark (@wyndhamclark)

Clark tragically lost his mother, Lise, to breast cancer in 2013 while he was at Oklahoma State. After her diagnosis, then-Cowboys head coach Mike McGraw encouraged him to take a break.

Clark said on Sunday that all his pain and anger was revealing itself on the golf course. He didn’t want to step away at the time. Now, he firmly believes it was the best thing for him.

In 2016, Clark posted a tribute to his mom on Instagram celebrating that she gets to spend eternity with her Heavenly Father.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Wyndham Clark (@wyndhamclark)

She was never far from his mind as he celebrated the biggest moment of his career on Sunday.

“I just felt like my mom was watching over me today,” Clark told NBC while fighting back tears.

God sustained Clark through the death of his mother and God sustained him through his struggles as a professional golfer. Now, after perhaps his greatest achievement as an athlete, Clark knows only God is worthy to praise.

Clark will aim to win back-to-back major championships at the British Open on July 20-23.

Stanford star Rose Zhang wins in LPGA debut: ‘I’m doing it for the glory of God’
– Roger Sali growing game of golf in native Uganda with help from Compassion
World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler firm in his faith as he attempts to defend Masters title
– SS PODCAST: LPGA Tour pro Angela Stanford on winning majors, living out her faith
– SS PODCAST: Pro golfer Seth Reeves on idolatry, performance, trust, glorifying God