Wyndham Clark’s spectacular, record-setting 12-under 60 on Saturday ultimately led him to victory at Pebble Beach.
He relied heavily on his putter, parading around Stillwater Cove like a man on a mission.
But his triumph on the Monterrey Peninsula may not have happened. He could have been basking in the sunshine at Mayakoba, where LIV Golf staged its first event of its 2024 season this past weekend.
“I definitely met with LIV and went through those discussions. I wanted to see what they could bring to the table,” Clark said late Sunday.
“I ultimately declined to go to LIV because I felt like I still had a lot of things left in the tank on the PGA Tour. I want to chase records; I want to chase world ranking. My dream is to try to be one of the top players in the world, if not the top player. I just grew up always imagining winning PGA Tour events.”
“Ultimately, I chose my legacy over LIV.”
Clark spoke to golfers on both tours to try and learn more about each side. He did his “due diligence,” as he wanted to better understand the variables involved but also the ramifications.
In the end, he leaned on Patrick Cantlay, Adam Scott, Jordan Spieth, and Tiger Woods the most, all of whom serve on the PGA Tour’s Policy Board.
“I didn’t want them to sway me in a certain way, but I definitely wanted their counsel, and I just wanted to honor them and the amount of time and work and effort they have put into this agreement now with SSG and where the Tour is going,” Clark explained.
“Ultimately, it came down to talking with close people in my camp and my team about what we should do, and we decided to stay on the PGA Tour.”
One of those individuals inside Clark’s Camp is John Ellis, a former PGA Tour Canada player who qualified for the U.S. Open twice.
Ellis, who hails from San Jose, California, now caddies for Clark, and he calls Pebble Beach his favorite place in the world.
“If there’s one thing you can do in your career, I don’t care if you win a hundred times or one time, I just hope one of them is at Pebble Beach,” Ellis has said to Clark repeatedly.
Ellis competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on four occasions, missing the cut three times and tying for 69th in 2009.
But 15 years after his last competitive appearance on the Monterey Peninsula, Ellis finally emerged victorious while looping for Clark.
“I’ve always told him; I said I’m going to make it happen,” Clark said.
“For us to pull it off in the fashion that we did was pretty awesome. We had a very mediocre round on Thursday, a great round on Friday that was turned a little sour with the finish we had on the back nine, and then to break a course record at one of the most historic golf courses in the world. Ultimately, to win was just the icing on the cake.”
Tears flowed from both Clark and Ellis late Sunday evening, when the PGA Tour announced that the tournament would be suspended after 54 holes.
“When we both found out, we were crying, laughing, and celebrating on the phone,” Clark reminisced.
“Then he quickly rushed over to where I’m staying to see me, and we’ve just been hugging and talking about all the great things and the shots and how amazing the last 36 hours have been…
“You never think about winning a tournament in 54 holes. And it’s maybe not the way you dream of winning, but with that said, I think a lot of us [Saturday] had—not that we knew or anything, but we had this outside shot in thinking that maybe this is our last round.”
And yet, if Clark joined LIV, he would not have been able to fulfill his promise of winning at Pebble Beach with Ellis, even though he won after 54 holes—the same number of holes utilized on the LIV Golf circuit, ironically enough.