Highlights: Clark flirts with 59, still breaks Pebble record

Highlights: Clark flirts with 59, still breaks Pebble record
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There’s new men’s competitive course record at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Wyndham Clark birdied Pebble’s par-5 18th hole to put the finishing touches on a 12-under 60 during Saturday’s third round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

The previous men’s record was 61, carded at the 2017 Carmel Cup, a fall college event, by then Texas Tech golfer Hurly Long. Rose Zhang holds the women’s low score of 63, also shot at the Carmel Cup, in 2022 after the event switched from hosting men to women. The previous Pro-Am record was 62.

Playing ball in hand because of wet conditions, Clark opened up his scoring with a 40-foot eagle make on the par-5 second hole. “Probably the best putt of the day, to be honest, as far as pure line and everything,” Clark said. He added a birdie from 10 feet at No. 4 before recording his second eagle of the day, at the par-4 sixth, where he canned a 42-footer.

“I was joking with my caddie after I made this, I said, ‘Just give me eagle putts, and I’ll make them,’” Clark said.

Five straight birdies followed, at Nos. 7-11. He stuffed his tee ball to 3 feet at the par-3 seventh, and then capped his front nine by draining putts of 30 feet and 25 feet at Nos. 8 and 9, respectively. Clark’s first nine holes included over 150 feet of putts.

“The cup felt huge today, and the reads, it just seemed like I knew exactly where to play it at all times,” Clark said.

After becoming just the fourth player in event history to card a front-nine 28 at Pebble, Clark drove it left and into some thick rough at No. 10, but his approach ended up inside 4 feet.

“To come out of the rough to back pins is actually an advantage,” Clark said.

He also converted a 15-footer at the par-4 11th hole.

“A lot of break, very fast; that was a nice put to make,” Clark said.

Perhaps Clark’s most clutch putt was for bogey at the par-3 12th hole, where Clark hit a dreadful tee shot into the front-right bunker and left his second shot, from a fried-egg lie, short of the green. He then had to chip lefty and left himself a bogey roll from the fringe about 25 feet away. He made it to avoid further damage.

“This was probably the round-saver, ” Clark said.

Clark got that dropped shot right back with a 12-foot birdie make at No. 13, and he added his eighth birdie of the day from 4 feet at the par-5 14th hole, where Clark deftly hit a long bunker shot that rolled more than half of the 84 total feet traveled.

“This shot actually is very difficult,” Clark said.

Two holes later, Clark yanked another drive into some juicy stuff, but he got a free drop because of a burrowing-animal hole.

Clark, however, couldn’t convert the 10-foot, downhill putt for birdie, leaving his putt an inch short. His 15-foot birdie putt at the par-3 17th was even closer to going in, seemingly a half-rotation from falling.

At the par-5 finishing hole, Clark pounded a drive and then hit his second shot to about 25 feet.

He couldn’t get the putt to drop for the 13th 59 in Tour history, but the ensuing tap-in birdie – he finished with just shy of 190 feet of putts made – still gave him a record all his own.

“This is the first time in a long time that I’ve had the nerves of the hands,” Clark said. “… Yes, I would’ve liked 59, but to have a tap-in birdie was pretty special.”

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