Wyndham Clark triumphs over Rory McIlroy, clinching inaugural LA major

Rory McIlroy’s long-awaited fifth major victory will have to wait as he narrowly lost to Wyndham Clark by just one shot at the US Open in Los Angeles. Clark, a 29-year-old American, shot a level-par 70 to secure his first major title at 10 under par, along with the substantial winner’s prize of $3.6 million (£2.8 million).

McIlroy’s quest for another major has been elusive for nine years now, with his last triumph occurring at the US PGA Championship in 2014. Whether it was at Southern Hills, Torrey Pines, Augusta National, St. Andrews, or now at the exclusive north course of the Los Angeles Country Club, the Northern Irishman consistently falls just short. He has accumulated an impressive 19 top-10 finishes in majors, including the past five US Opens.

After finishing with a score of nine under par following a final round of 70, McIlroy expressed his determination to continue putting himself in contention for major victories, confident that success will eventually come his way.

As the world number three in golf, McIlroy has already accomplished virtually everything else in the sport. However, this week will undoubtedly be added to his list of missed opportunities. Nevertheless, it is difficult to find fault with his final round performance, which consisted of one birdie, one bogey, and 16 pars, much like his performance at the 150th Open Championship last summer.

McIlroy’s only regret may be his inability to put enough pressure on Clark, despite hitting more greens in regulation than any other player. The treacherously fast and dry putting surfaces presented challenges, with a missed four-foot birdie putt on the eighth hole and a messy bogey on the 14th being particularly pivotal moments in the round.

Clark’s victory at the US Open is quite a remarkable feat, considering his previous major championship performances, where he had only made the cut twice in six attempts, with a 75th-place finish at the 2021 US PGA Championship being his best result.