The U.S. Open is the third major championship on the calendar, usually the one that offers more challenges to the best golfers in the world. That was the case at a “quiet” Los Angeles Country Club, first-time host to this event.
There were huge stories along with great drama during the four rounds of the tournament. Here is a look at how the U.S. Open played out in Southern California.
There were big names atop the leaderboard. There was also Wyndham Clark. Clark entered the U.S. Open as about a 70-1 (+7000) underdog, flying under the radar until it mattered.
While other golfers were struggling to make shots during Sunday’s final round, Clark continued to be steady. He ended the tournament with a score of 270 (-10), winning his first major (and second tournament) by just one shot.
Clark’s final round for Clark was a choppy 18 holes, eventually finishing at even par. That did the trick. He’s never before finished in the top 75 in other attempts in the majors.
Clark is a native of Colorado, but a long-time Los Angeles-area resident. Opening a three-shot lead with four holes to play, none of the challengers were able to close the gap.
Winning the Wells Fargo just over a month ago gave Clark confidence coming into the Open. Navigating a sometimes difficult Sunday, Clark was able to claim his first-ever major, perhaps a harbinger of the rest of the season.
If you missed Clark’s 70-1 boat last time, he’s listed at 50-1 (+5000) to successfully defend his title in 2024 when the U.S. Open returns to Pinehurst, N.C. That’s according to U.S. Open golf futures.
U.S. Open McIlroy Couldn’t Putt
Rory McIlroy came into the U.S. Open hoping to end a major drought that’s spanned nearly nine years. He had a great shot at getting that done, but alas…
McIlroy finished in second place, a final score of -9.
There were many chances, but unfortunately, it was the putter which failed McIlroy.
McIlroy had just one bogey Sunday, but only one birdie during his final round. That didn’t get it done, and the drought continues.
McIlroy will now head to the Open Championship next month at Royal Liverpool as the favorite in the betting, priced at 7-1 (+700), as per British Open odds by BetUS sportsbook.
Fowler Fades Sunday
Rickie Fowler had plenty of supporters entering Sunday’s final round, atop the leaderboard with a scant 18 holes to play.
Fowler and Xander Schauffele each shot a U.S. Open-record 62 in Thursday’s opening round. Fowler was in the final pairing Sunday with Wyndham Clark, but unraveled early.
A final-round score of five over 75 dropped Fowler in a fifth-place tie at -5. Thus, the promise of the first three rounds disappeared quickly.