Did Oregon Ducks Golf Star Wyndham Clark Make the US Open Cut?

Former Oregon Duck golfer Wyndham Clark opened his defense of the 2023 U.S. Open Championship on a very tough golf course: Pinehurst (North Carolina) No. 2, also known as the heart of championship golf in America. Clark has had his difficulties this season and was hoping for a strong start that would generate some momentum for his title defense and the rest of the PGA tour.
Jun 14, 2024; Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA; Wyndham Clark on the 13th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst No. 2.
Jun 14, 2024; Pinehurst, North Carolina, USA; Wyndham Clark on the 13th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Pinehurst No. 2. / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Former Oregon Duck golfer Wyndham Clark opened his defense of the 2023 U.S. Open Championship on a very tough golf course: Pinehurst (North Carolina) No. 2, also known as the heart of championship golf in America.

Clark has had his difficulties this season and was hoping for a strong start that would generate some momentum for his title defense and the rest of the PGA tour.

The good news is that Clark improved his play in round two after carding a three over 73 in round one. He rebounded Friday with a one over par 71 for a two-round total of 144, four strokes over par.

Originally, golf analysts predicted the cut line would be at two or three over par. That would have required Clark to shoot par or better to continue his play over the weekend. However, Pinehurst No. 2 had other ideas. With just a few exceptions, golfers found conditions, especially the rough off the fairways and the fast greens, to be as difficult if not more so than on Thursday.

Accordingly, the cut line following Friday's play is at 145, five strokes over par. The bad news for Clark is that while he made the cut, he is nine shots behind the tournament leader, Sweden’s Ludvig Aberg, who shot an opening round 66, followed by Friday's 69, for a five under par 135.

Aberg leads Bryson DeChambeau, Thomas Detry, and Patrick Cantlay by one shot. Those close behind include Rory McIlroy, Tony Finau, and Matthieu Pavon, two shots behind the leader.

Wyndham Clark celebrates with the championship trophy after finishing first in the final round of the U.S. Open.
Jun 18, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Wyndham Clark celebrates with the championship trophy after finishing first in the final round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Los Angeles Country Club. / Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

A testament to the playing conditions at Pinehurst No. 2 is the list of well-known golfers who barely made the cut and those who missed it. Those at five over par include world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler, Brooks Koepka, and Sean Lowry. Players going home after Friday’s play include Tiger Woods, Victor Hovland, Max Homa, and Rickie Fowler to name a few.

As much as Duck fans would like to see Clark make a run at defending his championship over the next two days, history tells us it is not likely. Consider that each of the last 16 men's major winners have been within three of the lead after round two. Furthermore, 26 of the last 28 U.S. Open winners have been within three through 36 holes. In addition, playing conditions are expected to be more difficult as high temperatures dry out the greens, making for even more challenges in the putting game.

Clark has most certainly earned his No. 4 world ranking and has the tools to compete with the best in the game. Whether or not he moves up the leaderboard remains to be seen, but Duck fans are certainly behind their champion.


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Mark Lantz

MARK LANTZ