Clarke holds off Schoeffel for first PGA win at Wells Fargo

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Wyndham Clark shot a four-shot victory over Xander Schoeffel at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday to earn his first career win on the PGA Tour.

The 29-year-old Clarke bogeyed the 18th hole to win.

Clarke finished the tournament at 19-under 265, the second lowest score with respect to par in tournament behind only three-time champion Rory McIlroy's 21-under 267 in 2015 when the par for the course was 72.

Schauffele had accuracy problems with his driver on Sunday and shot a 70 and finished at 15-under.

Tyrrell Hatton and English tied for third at 12 under, one shot better than Tommy Fleetwood and Adam Scott. Defending champion Max Homma shot a 70 on Sunday to finish tied for ninth at -under 275.

Clark's victory came the hard way.

The world number 80 started the final round with a two-shot lead, handed it to Schaeffel after seven holes and then came back to win after playing the last 11 holes at 4 under.

Despite having never won on tour before, there were indications that Clarke's victory was about to happen. He had finished in the top six in three of the last tournaments, including a third-place finish at the Zurich Classic last month.

After a poor start, he showed the spirit of a champion.

Clarke pulled his tee shot left on No. 1 on the cart path, leaving a approach shot and headed for a bogey. Schaeffel took the lead with birdies on Nos. 3 and 7 and it looked as if Clarke, who had struggled to make birdies on the first six holes, might crumble under the pressure of trying to win his first tournament.

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But the momentum changed on the eighth hole.

Clarke chipped to within 4 feet and rolled in a short birdie putt to pull back into a tie, and then took a nice lead at the turn when Schaffel's foot wrapped up on putt No. 9.

Schaeffel began to struggle with his driver, missing four straight fairways. Clarke kept up the pressure with a sinking birdie putt on No. 10 and a Schoffel bogey sandwiched between them on No. 11, holding a four-stroke lead with six holes left to play.

Clarke matched Schoeffel's birdies on the 14th and 15th and held a four-shot lead going into the difficult closing three holes known as the Green Mile.

From there, the only real was whether he would break McIlroy's tournament record.

But Clarke bogeyed the 18th and played the last three holes in 1 over.

McIlroy, playing for the first time since missing the cut at the Masters, played the final three rounds at 3-over par, including a 72 on Sunday to finish even par for the tournament.

He had nine Top 10 finishes in 11 starts, including wins at Quail Hollow in 2010, 2015 and 2021, but it was his worst finish since missing the cut 12 years ago.

McIlroy declined to speak to reporters after his final round.


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