Wyndham Clark had an unbelievable round on Saturday.
In fact, it was the lowest round of his life.
He shot a 12-under 60 on Saturday at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, soaring to the top of the leaderboard and setting the course record at Pebble Beach in the process. He now sits at 17-under for the championship.
“I think anytime you [have the chance to] shoot 59, those nerves come up, even if you’re at home. I think that’s for any golfer that happens,” Clark explained after his round.
“Doing it at a place like this in a Signature Event makes it even more special. That’s where I think those nerves coming down those last six holes; even though it’s a Saturday, I felt like it was the end of a tournament because I had a chance to do something special. Even though I fell short on the 59, 60 is still pretty awesome.”
The fireworks started early and often, as Clark holed a 38-footer for eagle at the par-5 second.
That was a harbinger of things to come.
At the 4th, Clark rolled in his first birdie of the day to get to 3-under through four.
Two holes later, Clark made another eagle from long distance. He rolled in his eagle putt from 42 feet away.
Then, Clark rattled off five straight birdies, three of which came on one of Pebble Beach’s most challenging stretches. The 8th, 9th, and 10th holes are all playing over par, but Clark made them look easy.
He went out in 8-under 28, tying Pebble Beach’s front nine record. That was mainly due to his hot putter, as Clark made 150 feet of putts on the front nine, per golf statistician Justin Ray.
His back nine got off to a rocking start, too. Clark’s second shot from the left rough at 10 was a sight to behold, as he stuck his approach to mere inches.
He was not finished.
Clark went on to birdie 11, but then had an adventurous bogey at the par-3 12th.
After finding the sand trap to the right of the green, Clark hit a poor second shot into the deep rough between the left-side bunker and the green.
He was forced to chip left-handed and skulled his third shot like a 15-handicapper.
“I have a decent lefty swing and can hit it. The lie wasn’t great and didn’t come out awesome, but I really thought I could hit the shot,” Clark said of his third shot on 12.
“I also thought it was a good mental check for me to go lefty because that’s something that I think I’d usually shy away from under pressure. So, I challenged myself a little bit. Let’s see if you can handle this mentally and not be so scared. I tried to pull off the shot, but I didn’t, but it worked out.”
Alas, Clark saved a bogey from about 25 feet, his only dropped shot of the day.
“[I was fired up about] that bogey putt on 12,” Clark said.
“Honestly, of all of the putts today, I was not really trying to make was that one. I was focused on my speed and trying to get it down there, two-putt, get the double, go to the next hole, and move on. For that to go in, it was like all right, man, I’m hot.”
Then, on the next two holes, Clark’s hot streak continued. He birdied the 13th and 14th holes to get back on track.
By then, a sub-60 round was squarely in play.
But it was ultimately not meant to be.
Clark had a great look at birdie on the 16th hole, but his 10-footer for birdie came up just short in the heart of the hole. A similar occurrence happened at the par-3 17th, where one more revolution would have given Clark yet another birdie.
“I really didn’t think about it until I got to the 18th tee box, and when I did, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, it would have been nice to have one of those last two because then I only have to birdie 18,’” Clark said.
“Once I hit the fairway on 18, I knew I would have a chance to hopefully try to shoot that special number. I gave it my best shot… I’m super happy with my round. Anytime you shoot 12 under anywhere, you’ve got to be happy.”
From the 18th fairway, Clark stripped a 4-iron from 230 yards into the middle of the green. Had the eagle fallen, Clark would have carded the 13th sub-60 round in PGA Tour history.
And yet, like his putts at both 16 and 17, his eagle try at 18 came up just inches short.
“For the third straight hole, it was on track to drop but came up inches short,” said CBS broadcaster Jim Nantz.
Clark was truly inches short of shooting a historic 57, which would have been the lowest score recorded in PGA Tour history. It also would have been done on a par-72, making it that much more impressive.
Nevertheless, Clark had to settle for a 12-under 60, which any golfer would take. And now, the reigning U.S. Open champion has command of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.