This story appears in the June issue of Mile High Sports Magazine. Interview by Vanessa Hughes.

Vanessa Hughes: Congratulations on your first PGA Tour win! Going back to May 7, the day you won the Wells Fargo Championship, it was a long time coming for you. Several years of grinding it out, but not quite getting over the hump. Sum up what it means to finally have everything come together and get that first win.

Wyndham Clark: Golf is such a grind. There are typically more lows than highs, and it’s a sport of pretty much constant failure. You can’t perfect it, and I think that’s one of the biggest struggles as professional golfers. You don’t win that often. Even the best players in the world only win 5-to-10 percent of their starts, so these five years on tour without a win have been tough. I’ve had a lot of chances this year, and coming up so close multiple times has been very frustrating, but also very motivating. To finally break through is honestly a dream come true. I’ve dreamt about it since I was a little boy. As the dream of playing on the PGA tour became a reality, your mind constantly wanders off and fantasizes about winning. To finally do it at an amazing course like Quail Hollow, at an elevated event, against the best players in the world, made it worth the long wait. I’m very happy and blessed that I’m now finally a champion on the PGA Tour and I’m happy it was at that golf course – and the timing was perfect.


VH: Tell me about the special treatment you received right after you won.

WC: The membership at Quail Hollow does a cool thing. I went in and did a toast and Q&A with the top dogs, one being Johnny Harris, who owns and runs Quail Hollow, and we did another toast and had a couple celebratory drinks. They gave me my locker at the club and told me I was welcome there at any time, which is pretty awesome. Afterwards, they set my caddie, John (Ellis), and I up at a hotel and at a restaurant, and we had a great dinner and FaceTimed all our friends and family while we were eating.

VH: None of your friends or family were there at Quail Hollow with you when you won. Why is that?

WC: I’ve had a lot of people show up for tournaments in the past when I’ve either been leading or one shot off the lead or had a chance to win, and every time they showed up, I didn’t win. So this time, I reached out to them, and said, ‘I’d love to have you guys here, but how about you don’t show up this one time and just see if that changes the outcome?’ If I knew I was going to win, I’d want all of them there so we could celebrate, but it just adds some undue pressure that I don’t need.

VH: The irony, or maybe humor of that is that now they’re never going to be able to watch you play in person, are they?

WC: No (laughs), they will. Now that I got the monkey off my back and won my first event, it probably won’t be as big of a deal if they show up. In the past, they’ve all flown in on a Saturday night or a Sunday morning and surprised me, which is a really nice thought, but sometimes it just adds a lot of pressure. You feel like you want to make sure you win because they spent the money to come out and see you. I sent a text on Saturday to six or seven people and just said ‘Hey, I’d love to have you here, but can you please not show up?’

VH: I know the person you probably would’ve wanted there more than anyone was your mom, Lisa, who died of breast cancer in 2013 at age 55 when you were just 19 years old. I’m certain she was there with you in spirit. Talk about how you carry your mom’s memory with you when you play.

WC: I wish she was there. It would’ve been pretty awesome to embrace my whole family, and my mom, after winning because they were there through the whole journey. From me starting out, to my first junior tournament, to my first time winning at any level. It would’ve been pretty amazing to have my mom there, but also my whole family, just to share that with them. It wasn’t in the cards, but it all worked out in the proper timing.

VH: I’m sure you’ve been inundated with calls, texts and social media messages from family and friends congratulating you on your win. What has that been like?

WC: At one point, I had 1,200 text messages! It was crazy. I don’t even know how many Instagram messages (I received) and I think I had 30 missed calls and made 20-to-30 calls. A lot of people reached out, which is awesome. It makes you feel loved, and I’m blessed to have a bunch of good friends and people who care about me.

VH: Was there somebody that you heard from after your win that really surprised you?

WC: I have a bunch of good friends in other sports, so I kind of expected some of those. I’d say the one that was nice to get was from Mark Wahlberg. He gave me a shout-out on social media. (Author’s Note: Wahlberg is co-founder of MUNICIPAL; which is one of Clark’s sponsors). And a bunch of my peers reached out and said they were pulling for me and were happy that I won, so that was really nice. Those two really stand out more than any of the others.

May 7, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Wyndham Clark celebrates to the gallery after his win during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

VH: Who was the first person you called after the win?

WC: I FaceTimed my girlfriend, Alicia. Then I FaceTimed one of my best friends – my agent – Rob Mougey, my brother, a couple really close friends and my dad.

VH: Let’s face it. This win is life-changing for you, from the $3.6-million payday you received to exemptions on the PGA Tour and invites to the Majors, etc. What does this win mean for your career moving forward?

WC: I get into the Masters and the Tournament of Champions and I’m in all the Majors. Also, you’re part of a pretty cool fraternity within the PGA Tour that you’re a tour winner. I’m always going to have that, which is pretty awesome. It gives you a bunch of job security and now I feel like I have the freedom to go out and play a lot more loose – so it’s definitely life-changing from so many different aspects. It’s pretty amazing and it’s honestly surreal.

VH: You have an exemption on the PGA Tour through the 2025 season and that will allow you to have a different approach and mindset, like you touched on. I know you’ve really worked on the mental aspect of your game and I’m sure that’s given you plenty of confidence. Talk about what specific things you’ve done mentally and how it’s helped your performance, especially this season.

WC: I made more of an effort to work on it and focus on that part of my game. I’ve started to read a lot of books or listen to books on tape, doing meditation, working on some mental practices and exercises throughout the week and I’m really more focused on getting myself in a good mindset before I play tournaments. Then during the rounds, I’m focused on that a lot more than in the past. All of that combined has really helped me with the consistency that I’ve had this year and then obviously now breaking through and finally winning.

VH: By winning the Wells Fargo Championship last month, you went from No. 80 to No. 31 in the world. How does it feel to be in that prestigious group now?

WC: The number on tour that everyone wants to be is in that Top 50, because then you get into every major, every big event, so it’s always been a goal of mine to crack the top 50. Now, going forward, you just want to keep moving up those world rankings. But I’m going to keep focusing on the things that I’ve been doing and what has made me successful and let those results take care of themselves.

VH: You’re now also 11th in the Ryder Cup standings. What does it mean to be in THAT conversation?

WC: That’s another bucket-list item that I’ve always wanted to be a part of. It would be amazing this year, especially being in Rome, to go play the Ryder Cup (Sept. 29-Oct. 1) and be with some of the best players in the U.S. going against the best in Europe. It would be a dream come true. I’d love to continue to play great golf, and hopefully I play good enough to earn a spot on the team or get picked. It’s always been a dream to represent my country.

VH: After this huge payday, do you have any plans to make a big purchase with some of that money?

WC: I’m pretty frugal, but I do currently need a car. I am actually car-less, which is kind of funny. I had a car deal with a dealership and had to give the car back recently. I was going to have to purchase a car regardless, so that is probably going to be my purchase. Outside of that, I’m frugal. I’ll just keep within my means. It’s just me, I don’t have a family or anything. I’m looking at everything. I’m going from practical to spoiling myself back to practical. Outside of purchasing a home, I haven’t purchased anything of a substantial amount of money, so this is a new area for me. I’m trying to figure out if I should really spoil myself or not.

VH: You’re from Denver and went to Valor Christian High School and had a lot of success playing golf here in your younger years. Even though you now live in Scottsdale, are you still a big Denver sports fan and do you follow the Colorado teams?

WC: Yes, for sure. Hockey’s my favorite sport and the Avalanche are my favorite franchise. I follow them the closest, but the Broncos and the Nuggets are right up there. I was very bummed that the Avalanche got knocked out, but I’m super excited with how the Nuggets are playing and I’m hoping they can go on to play for the championship.

VH: Tell me about your family. Are they in Colorado?

WC: My dad, Randall, lives in Cherry Creek. I have a younger brother and an older sister. One’s in Portland and one is in Kansas City. My girlfriend, (Alicia), lives in Scottsdale, about 25-30 minutes away from me.

VH: How much time do you spend in Denver?

WC: Quite a bit. I try to spend a week or two in the summer (there) and then every off week, I visit Denver to see Greg Roskopf at Muscle Activation Technique for some body work and rehab. I’ve been working with Greg for two-to three years now. He’s made my body so much more durable, and I just feel like I can go multiple weeks playing golf and don’t have the aches and pains that I hear a lot of guys talk about, He’s also made me so much stronger. I just feel my body really holds up over 72 holes in a tournament, but also multiple weeks in a row.

VH: What’s in your golf bag? Anything fun, unique or unusual?

WC: I used to have an Oregon head cover (Author’s Note: Clark played collegiately at Oregon and was the Pac-12 Champion in 2017), and any sort of Colorado-based head cover, but with my current sponsors, I can’t have non-Titleist head covers. I’m sorry; it’s kind of boring, but I don’t really have any funny things in the bag. It’s basically gloves, food, balls, tees and clubs.

VH: What snacks do you like to keep with you on the course?

WC: I have actually had some issues in the past with eating certain things out on the golf course that will change my blood sugar too much and make me jittery, so I’ve dialed it down to a science. I have applesauce for my sugar levels, and an oat bar that has a little protein and fiber in it; I have a gluten-free almond butter sandwich that has some protein, but I get some carbs from the bread. Those are my three staples. Sometimes I’ll add an apple or a banana. I kind of just nibble throughout the round. I don’t eat a ton, but I try to keep my levels very much the same.

VH: You’re sponsored by Titleist, Power Design and MUNICIPAL. Any others?

WC: I also have Ventures, which is a digital marketing group, on the back of my shirt. Those are my main sponsors, as of now. I’m always looking for new ones.

VH: In closing, when you think about all the challenges you’ve fought through in your career, from college through the pros, and then to finally get that first win, I’m sure it makes it all worth it, right?

WC: I’ve had a lot of chances to win in my five years on the PGA Tour and none of them were as big a tournament as the one that I did win. It’s pretty amazing to look back and obviously I was mad and frustrated and wanted my first win sooner – the Honda, or in the Dominican, or Valspar this year, or the Waste Management a couple times, or Genesis a couple years ago. So there were a lot of tournaments that I had chances to win. But now looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was in God’s timing, and I’m just so blessed that it happened at this event against this good of a field.

May 7, 2023; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Wyndham Clark hoists his trophy after his win during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports