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Wyndham Clark rides hot putter into lead at 2024 Players Championship

Wyndham Clark rides hot putter into lead at 2024 Players Championship

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Scottie Scheffler isn’t the only one who has figured out his putting.

Earlier this year, Wyndham Clark was so desperate for help with his short stick that en route to the airport he phoned a friend — Drew Kittleson, a former pro who lives near him in Scottsdale, Arizona – and asked if he could borrow his putter and take it to the Sentry in Hawaii at the PGA Tour’s season-opening event. By the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in February, the reigning U.S. Open champion was losing sleep at night over his putting woes and so he flew in early ahead of the signature event and laid out nine different putters on the practice green at Pebble Beach Golf Links and worked with putting coach Mike Kanski for the first time.

“Even if he doesn’t change anything, we need confirmation how good you are,” said Clark’s mental coach Julie Elion, who has helped him unlock his potential. “He had to break up the scar tissue.”

Consider it broken. Clark switched to gripping the club left-hand low, removed the alignment aid and shortened his Odyssey Jailbreak putter a bit and has become a wizard on the greens. He putted out of his mind in the final round at Pebble, shooting a course-record 60 to win the title and hasn’t slowed down. Coming off a runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Clark may be putting even better at the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass this week.

Through 36 holes, he’s leading the field in Strokes Gained: Putting (+7.727) en route to shooting a pair of 65s and a 36-hole total of 14-under 130. In doing so, he grabbed a five-stroke lead over Matt Fitzpatrick and Maverick McNealy at the 2024 Players Championship.

A year ago, Clark was winless on the Tour and the two-week stretch of the Players and Valspar Championship in Tampa last March were the low point for his putting. That’s when he discovered the Jailbreak model that Rickie Fowler had been using to great effect.

“I started really seeing a lot of putts go in, and then all the work that I did off the course in my mental game I started seeing it on the course because I started making putts,” Clark said. “So that’s probably the biggest thing is a combining the mental game with making putts and now I’ve been shooting some good scores.”

In early May he broke through at the Wells Fargo Championship…


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