‘No One’s Really Invested’: Wyndham Clark Belittles LIV Golf’s Impact, Busting Greg Norman’s Dream

Published 02/01/2024, 6:30 AM EST

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LIV Golf CEO, Greg Norman, has tried hard to sell Team Golf. But Wyndham Clark, who was rumored to join the Norman-fronted league, doesn’t buy it yet. The 2023 U.S. Open winner swats aside the team-golf hype, claiming, “No one’s really invested in the Cleeks.” But make no mistake. This was not a stand-alone barb at Martin Kaymer‘s all-European squad. Rather, Cleeks GC here stood as a synecdoche.

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The rookie Ryder Cupper was chatting with retired PGA Tour pros Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz at the Golf’s Subpar podcast. Fleshing out the difference between representing a LIV Golf team and representing your Flag in the Olympics or the Ryder Cup, Clark said the former doesn’t even come close to what he experienced at Marco Simone. 

Wyndham Clark is no fan of LIV Golf teams

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Knost, having played at the Walker Cup, said that the team aspect of LIV Golf doesn’t hit the right chords. Clark, nodding in agreement, thoughtfully added, “I think the difference between, let’s say, LIV teams and a Ryder Cup team or Presidents Cup team is just simply the fact that you’re representing your country versus just playing for… (a LIV Golf team).

Knost filled in the gaps, chiming, “The Cleeks.” Wyndham Clark, with a slight chuckle, reminisced about his maiden Ryder Cup less than six months ago. The two-time PGA Tour winner represented the U.S. team at this year’s biennial showdown. Clark raked in 1.5 points from three matches. Although Europe waltzed to the title of the Mediterranean shores, the rookie Ryder Cupper savored the chance of representing the USA. 

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I think just there’s something so powerful about representing your country. I think anyone that’s, you know, been in an Olympics or anything they say there’s just something about going there and your entire country rooting for you. So I think that’s what separates any team golf.” Aside from the Ryder Cup, Wyndham Clark has played team events in college golf as well. The University of Oregon graduate was, in fact, named Player of the Year for the Ducks and won the Pac-12 Championship in 2017.

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He has yet to forget that. “I think college golf reason why that’s so cool is because you’re representing something greater than yourself, which is your school and then the awesome.” And that’s where American International takes a final dig at the LIV Golf teams. “All the alumni are super into it (college golf), [they are] invested, and no one’s really invested in the Cleeks quite yet.” That perhaps is also the reason why the 2023 Wells Fargo Championship winner chose to stay with the PGA Tour.

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Wyndham Clark gives voice to a long-standing criticism of the Saudi-backed side. LIV Golf has teams, but they have failed to capitalize on that and create a fanbase around those franchises because of a fundamental lack of understanding of what works and what doesn’t. The third season of LIV Golf starts in Mayakoba with an additional team on February 1. Clark is teeing off at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, meanwhile.

Watch this story: While Bernd Wiesberger’s Future Looks Bright, Here Are Five Pros Who Suffered a Disastrous Setback From LIV Golf

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Written by:

Parnab Bhattacharya

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One take at a time

I, Parnab Bhattacharya, am a budding golf writer at EssentiallySports. I am keen on constantly exploring my deep-rooted love for golf through my long-time passion for writing. With a strong knack for storytelling and experience in SEO content writing, I bring a unique blend of fluent writing and technical expertise.
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Edited by:

Ananya Giri

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