Fans believe the U.S. Open should have had a playoff due to a potential penalty missed against Wyndham Clark. Clark won with a score of -10, defeating Rory McIlroy by one stroke. Viewers observed Clark potentially causing the ball to move during a greenside chip, but opinions on social media were divided. According to Rule 9.4, if a ball is moved at rest, a one-stroke penalty should be applied. If the penalty was enforced, both Clark and McIlroy would have finished at 9-under after 72 holes. The U.S. Open now uses a two-hole aggregate as the tiebreaker instead of a full 18-hole playoff. Clark’s victory was his second as a professional, while McIlroy continues to seek his first major win in nine years.
Ryan Morik; June 20, 2023
Fans seem to think that this past weekend’s U.S. Open should have gone to a playoff after a possible missed penalty against Wyndham Clark.
Clark won his first major on Sunday at -10, beating Rory McIlroy by a stroke, but viewers of the tournament say Clark should have been assessed a penalty.
During a greenside chip, in an all but grainy video, Clark is seen grounding a club that may or may not have caused the ball to move.
Social media reactions were quite mixed. Barstool Sports’ Daniel Rapaport said the ball “doesn’t move nearly enough for a penalty,” and the ball “oscillates maybe.”
However, Rule 9.4 states that if a ball is moved at rest, it would be a one-stroke penalty.
If a penalty were assessed, assuming nothing else following changed, Clark and McIlroy would have both been at 9-under through 72 holes.
The tiebreaker at the U.S. Open is now a two-hole aggregate after having previously been another full round of 18 on Monday – who could forget Tiger Woods vs. Rocco Mediate, the last U.S. Open playoff, in 2008? The new format was formed in 2018.
The victory was Clark’s second as a pro. McIlroy still awaits his first major victory in nine years after having won four from 2011 to 2014. Aside from this year’s Masters, where he missed the cut, he’s finished at least eighth place or better in majors since 2022, and this weekend was his third top-three and fourth top-five finish since then.
Photo: AP Photo/George Walker IV