After this weekend’s Wells Fargo Championship, it’s easy to understand how life-changing winning one of the new Designated Events on the PGA Tour can be.
Going into the tournament at Quail Hollow Golf Club, Wyndham Clark had earned around $7.4 million in 133 starts on the PGA Tour. His highest payday had been $485,000 for finishing 10th at the WM Phoenix Open—also a Designated Event—earlier this year.
After a smooth Sunday in Charlotte, North Carolina, Clark won the Wells Fargo Championship by four strokes over Xander Schauffele and pocketed $3.6 million—nearly half of what he earned on the PGA Tour so far in his career.
Along with the cash, Clark also earned a spot in the Open Championship later this year and next year’s Masters to go with the 500 FedEx Cup points allotted to the winner.
It all left the 29-year-old a bit overwhelmed after securing the win.
“I’m a little choked up,” Clark said at the trophy presentation. “It’s been a long five years [on tour] to get to this point. I thought I would have won one earlier, but it is well worth the wait.”
Clark shot a 63 on Saturday to put him in position to win. He entered the final round with a two-shot lead over Schauffele. After an errant tee shot on the first hole setting the tone, Schauffele was able to pull even after seven holes. But Clark responded, shooting 4-under in the final 11 holes to end up at -19 for the tournament.
“You can’t win the tournament after the first few holes on a Sunday – little things where in the past I would have gotten fast and quick and already my mind’s going forward,” Clark explained.
It was a win that was the culmination after building some momentum in prior weeks. He finished third with partner Beau Hossler at the Zurich Classic two weeks ago after leading going into the final round. He also had a fifth at the Valspar Championship and sixth at the Puntacana Championship in March, so he entered the Wells Fargo with three top-six finishes in his last five starts. He also hasn’t missed a cut in 16 straight events, dating back to last October.
Schauffele, who shot a 64 on Saturday to jump into second place, finished four shots back at -14. Tyrrell Hatton led at the halfway point of the tournament but couldn’t go low in the final two rounds, having to settle for a tie for third with Harris English. Adam Scott and Tommy Fleetwood tied for fifth.
Michael Kim finished seventh at -10 while Max Homa, Corey Conners, Sungjae Im, K.H. Lee, Brendon Todd, and Denny McCarthy all tied for eighth at -9. Kim and McCarthy were rewarded for their efforts with a berth into the Open Championship.
With one week to go before the PGA Championship, the tour heads to Texas for the AT&T Byron Nelson. K.H. Lee has a chance to make history by going for a threepeat after winning this event in each of the last two years. The last person to win a tournament three years in a row is Steve Stricker at the John Deere Classic from 2009-11.