Wyndham Clark updates again damage, shares why he can win Masters


Wyndham Clark is gearing up for what might be one of many greatest weeks of his life.

Clark is one in all 89 males competing at Augusta Nationwide within the 88th Masters Event later this week. He might be in search of his second main championship in lower than a yr after capturing the U.S. Open final June.

Earlier than arriving at Augusta, Clark joined SB Nation’s Taking part in Via for an interview and detailed a variety of subjects, together with how his again is feeling, his involvement with SoFi and the TGL, in addition to the evolution of his psychological sport.

After all, he additionally offered eager perception into his method to being a rookie at Augusta Nationwide. That has notoriously been a troublesome spot for anybody.

Clark’s Again Harm a “Only a Muscle Factor”

Clark was taking part in unbelievable golf just a few weeks in the past. He completed runner as much as World No. 1 Scottie Scheffler in back-to-back weeks on the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Gamers, respectively.

He was heartbreakingly near forcing a playoff within the latter. An unreal lip-out on 18 left Clark gutted.

However, his sport was in high kind contending with the world’s finest.

A day later, Clark injured his again heading into the Texas Kids’s Houston Open. He didn’t play fairly as effectively that weekend. Fortunately, the again damage doesn’t seem as if it’ll affect him at The Masters.

“I don’t know you probably have ever thrown your again out… I used to be within the health club. I didn’t have something [wrong] going into the exercise. Simply out of nowhere it went out. It’s only a muscle factor,” Clark stated to Taking part in Via.

“It’s nothing profession [threatening]… it sucked it occurred Monday of a match week. However the good thing was, I used to be capable of play. Because the match went on, it obtained higher and higher.

Texas Children’s Houston Open - Round Three, Wyndham Clark

Photograph by Joe Scarnici/Getty Pictures

“As of proper now, truthfully, I don’t really feel something.”

That sentiment is furthered by his remaining spherical 4-under 68 in Houston. That’s certainly a reduction for Clark and all golf followers.

Wyndham’s Function with TGL, SoFi

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy’s digital golf league, TGL, is ready to debut in January of 2025. Will probably be held on the SoFi Middle on the Palm Seashore State School campus.

SoFi is among the world’s largest on-line banks, offering monetary merchandise together with scholar mortgage refinancing, mortgages, private loans, and banking via each cell app and desktop interfaces.

They’re additionally one of many key companions in serving to develop the groundbreaking golf league.

Clark, whereas taking part in the Pebble Seashore Professional-Am with SoFi CEO Anthony Noto, realized of shared targets and beliefs via inside the sport of golf. That led to a blossoming relationship touchdown him an envoy function and his participation within the digital golf league.

“We performed the primary two days collectively and had a good time. As we progressed via these two days, I actually realized quite a bit about SoFi and what they worth and the way they go about their enterprise.

“They approached me to assist characterize the model and I felt snug doing that due to what I realized in regards to the firm upon doing my due diligence… I’m actually excited to be part of the model!”

AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am - Round Three, Wyndham Clark

Photograph by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR by way of Getty Pictures

He joins a pair different celebrity athletes partnering with SoFi, specifically Chargers QB Justin Herbert and Celtics SF Jayson Tatum.

“Me being an Oregon Duck and Justin Herbert is a Duck, and Tatum is an incredible basketball participant. To be in that group is wonderful and assist golf rising a lot,” Clark stated excitedly.

Certainly, SoFi is doing their half serving to the sport of golf develop to a brand new, wider and extra numerous viewers.

The Masters: A Rookie Can Win

Clark is one in all 17 rookies on this yr’s Masters subject.

That usually has not been an awesome place to be for skilled golfers. Solely 3 times within the historical past of the match has a first-timer gained. The primary two had been the primary two years of the occasion in 1934 and 1935.

The one different time was when Fuzzy Zoeller completed the feat in 1979.

But, Clark has no concern of being a beginner at Augusta Nationwide; as a result of he isn’t.

“I feel if I performed it [Augusta National] chilly turkey, I’d be at a big drawback. However I’ve performed it a complete of 4 occasions previous to the week of Augusta,” stated Clark.

He then made an awesome level that’s arduous to argue as to why he has a shot this week.

“I really feel like I’ve a excessive golf IQ. Usually we solely get to see a golf course a pair occasions earlier than we tee it up. On the U.S. Open, I solely noticed it one time earlier than the week. I performed 9 holes, then 9 holes [of practice], after which went and gained the match.”

The 30-year-old rising star has the last word confidence that he can get it completed as soon as once more.

Clark’s Cerebral Shift

You probably have adopted Wyndham Clark’s skilled profession, you then seemingly have observed a large shift.

Previous to 2023, the reigning U.S. Open champion struggled with consistency. He would comply with up a stable match with a poor exhibiting, a powerful spherical with a subpar one, and even on the micro degree, a birdie with a bogey.

That is a component Clark was fairly candid about.

“That’s one thing that I struggled probably the most with previous to this final yr and a half. The bounce again means and to deal with the adversity… while you make bogeys or doubles, I used to comply with these bogeys and doubles with extra bogeys,” Clark admitted.

All of that modified final season.

“I began working with my sports activities psychologist and dealing on my self-talk. I created the mentality that it doesn’t matter what simply occurred, I do know I can bounce proper again and make birdie. That’s one thing we particularly labored on.”

“If there may be any stat that I take a look at and is a aim… the one consequence aim I concentrate on is that bounce again stat.”

The proof is within the pudding, too.

Clark was exterior the highest 100 in bounce again fee in 2022. He carried out the brand new methods that had been detailed in Netflix’s Full Swing Season 2, and improved drastically.

Final yr, the three-time PGA Tour winner completed the season within the high 10 in bounce again fee. He’s again at it once more this yr as effectively.

To place that into context, look no additional than his play on the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Final Round, Wyndham Clark

Photograph by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Pictures

Throughout the third spherical, he was chasing Scottie Scheffler and closed his entrance 9 with a double bogey. The previous Clark might need folded and bogeyed the subsequent.

As a substitute, he went birdie, birdie, eagle to climb proper again into competition.

He did the identical factor on Sunday. After his second bogey of the day on 4, he picked up two straight birdies on 5 and 6. In the end, he completed simply behind Scheffler in second.

This isn’t only a current growth both.

I spent Saturday and Sunday final June following Clark on the U.S. Open. All through the weekend, he was battling Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, two fan favorites, atop the leaderboard. Clark simply outplayed them each to seize his first main championship and confirmed some actual stones down the stretch to take action.

But it surely was the way in which that he carried himself that caught my eye. He appeared to have this serene sense of calm combined with supreme confidence.

That confidence exuded itself as he later exclaimed his perception that he’s the truth is higher than McIlroy.

After all, most individuals will dismiss that notion. However with a purpose to be the perfect, you should consider you’re the finest. No concern. No mercy. Take no prisoners and win in any respect price.

These had been all psychological traits that I picked up from him at Los Angeles Nation Membership that weekend. If that mentality sounds acquainted, that’s as a result of it embodies the late, nice Kobe Bryant and was coined the ‘Mamba Mentality.’

Clearly, Clark has a protracted technique to go profitable extra majors to earn that degree of distinction from golf followers. However this new Wyndham Clark we have now seen the final 14 months exemplifies the identical cerebral method.

Don’t consider me, simply take a look at the outcomes. The proof, as I say, is within the pudding.

Kendall Capps is the Senior Editor of SB Nation’s Taking part in Via. For extra golf protection, comply with us @_PlayingThrough on all main social media platforms.