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Stephen Gallacher: US Open champion Wyndham Clark is bound for Ryder Cup

American deserves to be in Zach Johnson's US team for Rome.

Wyndham Clark celebrates on the 18th green after winning the 2023 U.S. Open Golf Championship at the Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, California on Sunday, June 18, 2023. Image: Shutterstock
US Open champion Wyndham Clark will line-up against Europe in the Ryder Cup. Image: Shutterstock

I expect we’ll see Wyndham Clark and Rory McIlroy lock horns once more at the Ryder Cup following a dramatic finale to the US Open on Sunday.

I spent last week outlining when experience matters on the home straight at the US Open, so of course Clark ripped up the rulebook by holding off Rory and Scottie Scheffler to claim victory in Los Angeles.

It was remarkable really.

Here was Clark, whose best finish in a major was 75th, holding off the world number one and number three to claim the biggest win of his career.

The fact it came just a month after his first PGA Tour victory made it all the more remarkable.

I love these stories in golf as it’s what makes our game such compelling viewing.

Where else can you see underdogs coming through to beat the established order to win the big one?

It just goes to show how much confidence a win can give you.

Overall though, it was not the US Open I had anticipated – the greens were more generous than anticipated and after the first round I found myself questioning whether I was really watching the right tournament.

It has a reputation for testing golfers mentally to the point guys find it so stressful they usually take a week off afterwards to recover.

It didn’t quite pan out like that, but Clark was a deserving winner. He played some great golf all week.

US captain Zach Johnson will be thrilled at Clark’s rise

Wyndham Clark. Image: PA.

Clark’s win is a game changer for him, too.

Not only will he have a five-year exemption for the majors, but he has jumped to 13th in the world rankings and is now second on the US Ryder Cup standings.

US captain Zach Johnson will be thrilled to have him on his team.

A major winner who has beaten two of the best players in the world down the stretch? That’s a clutch player any captain would love to have in their side.

Johnson will be delighted to have Scheffler there, too. His consistency is a joke and he seems able to churn it out round after round, week after week.

He really is a phenomenon.

Tommy Fleetwood is building momentum

Tommy Fleetwood had another solid week. Image: PA.

Tommy Fleetwood may not have won, but it was a good week for him, too.

Tommy now has the honour of being the only man to shoot 63 twice in the history of the US Open. That’s an unbelievable stat.

Europe captain Luke Donald will be delighted at that, too.

Tommy suffered heartbreak at the Canadian Open the week before when he was pipped to the title due to Nick Taylor’s incredible eagle in the play-off.

But he showed he has lost none of his momentum.

Tommy will be hoping it stays that way at Hoylake next month at the Open. It’s pretty much home for him and I know how much he would love to win this one.

My five-week run begins in Germany

I’ve pencilled a two-week trip to the United States next month as part of a five-week run of events.

I’m in Germany this week for the BMW International Open and it feels as if we’re heading into the business part of the summer on the DP World Tour.

The British Masters and Made in Himmerland follow, and as I’m not in the Scottish Open or the Open so I’m going to head out to the US for the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky and the Barracuda Championship in California instead.

Having five-in-a-row to look forward to feels good, and hopefully it can help me get some momentum going.

There are certainly worse places to be than Munich this week. It’s beautiful here, but for a lot of the guys in the field the clock is ticking.

There’s a big-game feel to golf just now and that is evident by the fact Europe captain Luke Donald is here this week.

With eight tournaments to go before automatic qualification is complete, you can feel the focus of the hopefuls ramping up.

As we enter the qualifying home straight we’ll find out in the weeks ahead who really wants to be part of Luke’s team for Rome.

Watson is not the only man with questions about merger

It has been two weeks since the dramatic announcement of the merger of LIV Golf, the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour – and like everyone else I’m waiting for more details.

Tom Watson has given his take with an open letter to PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and it makes for interesting reading.

He’s raised the question whether the announcement was a last resort to avoid financial peril for the PGA Tour and believes the tour has ignored the moral issues surrounding the PIF deal.

When a legend like Tom raises these issues, people tend to take notice. And it does seem as if there are some pertinent questions to be answered.

But what I do know is, as it stands, nothing has changed.

We know a deal has been brokered, but what the details of it and the ramifications are remain unclear.

I suspect it will be business as usual for the DP World Tour as our prize funds are underwritten by the PGA Tour anyway as part of our strategic alliance.

When it comes to questions, we all have lots of them. But in terms of offering any opinion, it’s difficult to do that without any answers.