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Fans of golf carnage, start your engines. This week’s US Open could get real ugly, real quick.

So says defending champion Wyndham Clark.

The 30-year-old, who held off Rory McIlroy to win his maiden major at Los Angeles Country Club 12 months ago, is concerned that the USGA could lose the greens on the No.2 Course at Pinehurst.

Reminder: it’s only Monday.

Speaking with the media in North Carolina this afternoon, Clark admitted to having concerns about the speed of the small putting surfaces.

“They are extremely fast,” said the world No.4. “If they get any firmer and faster, they’d be borderline. They already are borderline.

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“The greens are extremely fast and penal. You hit it on the green, the hole is not done. I was just amazed how fast the greens are.”


Compounding matters is the weather forecast. There is little rain in the forecast between now and Thursday afternoon, with very little beyond that.

How fast the greens run, therefore, will be largely in the hands of the USGA

The organisation came under fire less than a fortnight ago for the way it set up Lancaster Country Club for the US Women’s Open, the par-3 12th hole in particular.

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Clark, meanwhile, revealed that he has low expectations as he bids to become the first player since Brooks Koepka in 2018 – and only the fourth since World War II – to successfully defend the US Open.

“I haven’t been playing my best golf,” he lamented. “It’s been kind of a tough stretch these last few weeks.

“Really, I’m trying to gain some momentum for the rest of the season. I know that maybe sounds like low expectations for the week, but honestly I’d love to just gain some momentum.

“My frustration level is definitely higher than it’s been in a long time. It’s kind of a bummer. It’s the great thing about golf: there’s always another week. I got to believe that good golf is around the corner.

“I’m hitting a lot of good shots in practice. I got to be able to take it to the course. I’m hoping it’s this week and it starts a good run of playing good golf the rest of the year.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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