WinCo Foods Executives, Lagardere Sports Executives, members of the media and former PGA TOUR player Casey Martin were all in attendance today at Media Day for the sixth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. Voted the 2018 Tournament of the Year on the Korn Ferry Tour the WinCo Foods Portland Open marks the finale of the 24- event Korn Ferry Tour regular season where 25 PGA TOUR cards are awarded on Sunday as pro’s compete on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, August 8-11.
Special guest Casey Martin, current head coach of the University of Oregon Golf Team (2016 National Champions) joined Lagardere Sports executive, Jeff Sanders on stage for an exclusive interview for guests and media in attendance. Martin, a former PGA TOUR player and Eugene, Oregon native, has inspired people around the sports world to achieve greatness in their sport regardless of obstacles.
Along with his impressive golf resume, Martin has built an equally impressive resume as a coach. Since taking the job at the University of Oregon, Martin has fostered a National Championship (2016) and coached his players to tremendous individual success including two Jack Nicklaus Award winners, one Fred Haskins Award winner, three Pac-12 Golfer of the Year winners, 21 all-pac-12 players and 16 regional honorees. These team and individual achievements garnered him National Coach of the Year in 2017 and two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year in 2010 and 2017.
Martin’s success as a coach has also gone beyond the college ranks as his recent players have gone on to immediate success on both the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR, most notably PGA TOUR winner Aaron Wise (2018 AT&T Byron Nelson Champion) and 2018 Korn Ferry Tour graduate Wyndham Clark who finished T5 at the PGA TOUR 3M Championship this past weekend.
“Wise was amazing from the moment he stepped on campus. He has this air of confidence that is very unique,” said Martin. “He has a lot of internal belief in his skills and abilities and it’s a huge part of his success.”
“Wyndham has the prototypical game that you covet. He hits it long and he can putt and chip like you can’t believe. Wyndham has an incredible work ethic and he’s a grinder. He’s going to be a winner on the [PGA TOUR].”
Martin also had a lot to say about the talent that has flooded the Korn Ferry Tour over the last several seasons. “The game is changing. It is becoming more athletic and these young guys are made for it. Week to week, I’m not sure the best players on the [PGA TOUR] would make the cut at the Portland Open. These guys are fearless, and they can putt like crazy.”
As the Korn Ferry Tour season approaches its peak next month at the WinCo Foods Portland Open, the field of great golfers has never been as strong. Recent Stanford University Alum, Maverick McNealy, is one such highly touted player winning pac-12 Player of the Year honors (2016) and was the world’s top ranked Amateur in 2017 before turning pro.
Other top players include University of Alabama alum Robby Shelton (ranked #2 on the Korn Ferry Tour) who notched two wins so far this season and University of Texas alum Scottie Scheffler (#3 on the Korn Ferry Tour) who has one win and two runner-up finishes. Fighting for his place in the field is University of Oregon alum, Norman Xiong, one of Casey Martin’s pupils and the Jack Nicklaus and Fred Haskins award winner in 2018.
The WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz will be broadcast globally live on Golf Channel all four days. The professionals will compete for a purse of $800,000, the largest of the 2019 regular season, with the winner receiving $144,000.
From Portland to PGA TOUR
In just the first five years of the WinCo Foods Portland Open there have been 54 PGA TOUR wins by players who earned their PGA TOUR cards here in Portland. The most recent winner was Nate Lashley who won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in wire to wire fashion with a 25-under par performance to win by 6 strokes.
Players who have received their cards at the WinCo Foods Portland Open in the past include PGA Championship winner and 2017 PGA TOUR Player of the Year winner Justin Thomas, 2017 PLAYERS Champion Si Woo Kim (youngest player to win THE PLAYERS Championship), 2017 TOUR Championship winner and Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele, and PGA TOUR winner and University of Oregon alum Aaron Wise.
Players compete throughout the season on the Korn Ferry Tour for position on the Points List with the top-25 ranked players receiving their PGA TOUR card on the 18th green of Witch Hollow.
Last year’s tournament featured the 2018 Korn Ferry Tour Player of the Year Sungjae Im. The 20-year-old South Korean native put a bow on his 2018 season dominance with a victory at the WinCo Foods Portland Open. After starting the season with a win at The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay in January, followed by 3 runner-up finishes, Sungjae Im was primed for another victory. Shooting four stellar rounds in the 60’s and a Thursday low of 65, Im finished Sunday with a score of 18-under par.
Second place finisher John Chin kept it close throughout the tournament closing with a 5-under, 66 in the final round making a Sunday surge on the back 9. Im withstood the barrage of birdies from Chin and came away with the victory. Im’s record breaking 2018 campaign concluded at the WinCo Open as the only wire-to-wire money leader in Tour history as well as being named the Korn Ferry Tour’s Player of the Year.
All Fore Charity
While the action on the course was as exciting as we have seen, the most important score was not on the leaderboard. The WinCo Foods Portland Open broke its own record for the second consecutive year raising $1,425,00 for charity. Since the tournament’s inception in 2014 it has raised nearly $6 MILLION for charity.
WinCo Foods has committed to give 100% of all ticket sales to deserving local charities and youth organizations. More than 100 local non-profit organizations are currently selling tickets and keeping 100% of the revenue from their sales through the Nabisco TICKETS Fore CHARITY™ program. Tickets are $15 for any one day or $25 for the entire week. One of the best ticket values in Oregon sporting events held annually. Parking is again free all week and kids 17-and-under are again admitted free all week.
All-new BMW Fan Deck Adds More Fun for Fans
Along with a number of special events and fan enhancements that will be available for all spectators attending the WinCo Foods Portland Open, the tournament announced the opening of the new BMW Fan Deck presented by NBC Sports Northwest. The on-course hospitality venue will be located on the par-3, 12th hole where fans can enjoy great views of the exciting golf action. The Fan Deck will be open to all spectators at the tournament with no additional cover charge and will feature ‘Beers Fore Birdies’ offering discounted beer for 12 minutes every time a professional makes birdie or better on the 12th hole.
Also located on the 12th hole, The Grove will return as well. The Grove, a fan favorite beer and wine experience will feature more than 25 of the best breweries and wineries from the Pacific Northwest. All tournament tickets include admission to the BMW Fan Deck, the Grove, and 10 complimentary tastings for fans 21-years and older. Both venues are open Thursday – Sunday of tournament week.
On Saturday, Family Day presented by KinderCare Education will take place from 10:00am - 2:00pm and the first 250 kids in attendance will receive a tournament gift package and free lunch voucher. Following the Family Day activities on Saturday, the Under Armour Junior Clinic will be held at 2:00pm on the Ghost Creek Driving Range. All youth in attendance will get the opportunity to learn some tips and tricks from the pros and receive a gift package courtesy of Under Armour. Admission is free for all youth 17 and under.
Sunday morning will feature a complimentary breakfast available at the Witch Hollow clubhouse for ALL ticket holders courtesy of General Mills from 9am-12pm.
For more information and to buy tickets, please visit www.WinCoGolf.com
The PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour honored the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz as the 2018 Web.com Tour Tournament of the Year. The tournament annually marks the conclusion of the Web.com Tour regular season at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club.
“The WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz has been one of the Web.com Tour’s premier events over the last five years and we’re honored to name it as our 2018 Tournament of the Year, as voted by our players and staff. Jeff Sanders and his team have created an incredible experience for Pro-Am participants and fans while forming a meaningful charitable footprint in the greater Portland community with nearly $6 million in donations to charity,” said Web.com Tour President Dan Glod. “Our players look forward to competing on one of the game’s storied venues each August in Pumpkin Ridge’s Witch Hollow Course, and the Sunday drama with PGA TOUR cards on the line annually creates a one-of-a kind atmosphere.”
The 2018 tournament raised a record $1.4 Million for charity bringing the five-year total to nearly $6 million. ‘The Grove,’ located alongside the par-3 12th hole featured local breweries, wineries and one of the most scenic views on the course. Sunday featured ‘Breakfast at Pumpkin Ridge,’ complimentary to all Sunday ticket holders and with views of the practice putting green as players readied for their final rounds.
“We are proud to receive this award on behalf of our Title Sponsor, WinCo Foods. The honor of being named Tournament of the Year on the Web.Com TOUR by the PGA TOUR is extremely gratifying and is shared by everyone who contributes to the events success,” said WinCo Foods Portland Open Executive Director Jeff Sanders.
“The WinCo Foods Portland Open tournament is as important to local non-profits and our community as it is to the 25 players earning their PGA TOUR cards. Thanks to our amazing title sponsor WinCo Foods, Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club, our loyal volunteers and all of our outstanding sponsors and media partners we were able to raise a record $1.4 million for Charities.”
Next August the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz returns to Pumpkin Ridge for the sixth consecutive year. 25 PGA TOUR cards will once again be on the line as 156 of the game’s most promising stars make their way to the Pacific Northwest. 2019 dates are August 8-11. For more information visit WinCoGolf.com.
Two wins, Regular Season money title also secures Rookie of the Year honors for Im
JEJU ISLAND, South Korea – Sungjae Im of Jeju, South Korea, was named 2018 Web.com Tour Player of the Year in a vote of his peers, it was announced today at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES. Im, who received the Jack Nicklaus Trophy for winning Web.com Tour Player of the Year, bested four other nominees: Anders Albertson, Sam Burns, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer. A rookie on the Web.com Tour in 2018, Im was also named the Tour’s first Rookie of the Year.
The 20-year-old won twice on the Web.com Tour in 2018 and became the first player in Tour history to lead the money list wire-to-wire. Im becomes the first Korean-born player to be named Player of the Year, as well as the youngest, a record previously held by Jamie Lovemark, who took home the title in 2010 at 22 years of age.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I would like to congratulate Sungjae Im for his record-breaking rookie season on the Web.com Tour and earning these two awards through a vote of his peers,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “To win in his first-ever Web.com Tour start and go on to lead the money list wire-to-wire is truly remarkable. And we’ve seen that Sungjae’s talent translates to success on the PGA TOUR, as he finished just one shot out of a playoff at the season-opening Safeway Open.”
After brief stints on the Japan Golf Tour and the Korean Tour, Im came to the United States in 2017 in an attempt to qualify for the Web.com Tour. He finished second in the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament, carding a 10-under 60 in the third round to secure status for the 2018 season.
The South Korea native went on to win the season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay, becoming the first player since Bryson DeChambeau in 2016 to win their first Web.com Tour start. At 19 years, 9 months and 17 days, he became the second-youngest player to win on Tour. A week later he posted a runner-up finish, locking up his PGA TOUR card and beginning what would be a season-long stint atop the money list.
Im continued his strong play throughout the year, finishing the season with $553,800 in earnings, the fourth-most single-season earnings in Tour history. He amassed eight top-10 finishes, including a second win at the Regular Season-ending WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by KraftHeinz. By the end of the season, he led the Tour in total birdies (397), final round scoring average (68.00) and total rounds in the 60s (54).
“My first year on the Web.com Tour was an incredibly happy time for me,” Im said, “and it’s pretty surreal that I was able to win the first and last tournament of the season. I honestly thought I would spend about two to three years on the Web.com Tour before making it to the PGA TOUR, so I’m happy to have achieved my goal so soon. I’m grateful to have earned the Player of the Year honors and I hope to finish the remainder of the PGA TOUR season on a good note.”
His season-long performance kept him atop the money list for a record-breaking 27 straight weeks. By virtue of being named the combined money list winner, Im received full exempt status on the PGA TOUR for the 2018-19 season, as well as a spot in THE PLAYERS Championship.
Im’s first-year success resulted in him being crowned the Web.com Tour’s inaugural Rookie of the Year. Im was selected for this honor, also by his fellow competitors, over Sam Burns, Cameron Champ, Kramer Hickok and Martin Trainer.
“Sungjae Im had an incredible rookie season on the Web.com Tour,” said Web.com Tour President Dan Glod. “We are proud to name him as both the 2018 Web.com Tour Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. He is a fantastic example of the growing international presence we are seeing on the Tour and we are excited to see what he will accomplish on the PGA TOUR.”
PGA TOUR Executive Vice President of International, Ty Votaw, presented Im with the awards at a press conference at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES.
For more information on the Web.com Tour, or Sungjae Im, please visit PGATOUR.com.
20-year old Sungjae Im caps historic season with four-shot victory
The fifth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz concluded today with 25 PGA TOUR cards on the line. Players moved in and out of ‘The 25’ throughout the afternoon as the dramatic Web.com Tour regular season finale drew to a close.
Sungjae Im entered today’s final round with a two-shot advantage over Derek Ernst who set the Witch Hollow course record during round one. After making the turn at one-under par, Im distanced himself with a birdie on the par-3 10th, followed by an eagle at the par-5 11th. A closing birdie added up to a final round 67 and a tournament record 18-under par. The victory bookends a season that saw Im become the second youngest winner in Web.com history at the Bahamas Great Exuma Classic, the first event of the regular season. Im made another piece of Web.com Tour history as he became the first player in Tour history to lead the Money List from wire-to-wire.
While Im kept a comfortable lead throughout the afternoon, there was plenty of drama when it came to the chase for 25 PGA TOUR cards. 31-year old John Chin surged to a final round 66 and a runner-up finish. With the strong showing, the UC Irvine grad moved from 41st to 10th on the Money List, securing his card for next season.
Hank Lebioda entered the week 24th on the Money List and found himself nervously awaiting the final rankings after carding an even par 71. In the end, it was good enough to finish 25th on the list, just in front of Kevin Dougherty whose T-6 finish left him in the 26th position.
Former University of Oregon star Wyndham Clark also earned his PGA TOUR card today. His first professional season included four top-10 finishes. Despite missing the cut here in Portland, Clark finishes 16th on the Money List and will compete on the PGA TOUR next season.
Sunday’s awards ceremony included an announcement from Lagardere Sports and WinCo Foods. The fifth edition of the tournament raised $1.375 Million for local charities, an Oregon golf tournament record.
The WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz returns to Pumpkin Ridge next August. For tournament dates, news and other information visit WinCoGolf.com and follow the tournament on social media.
Im Looks to Make Web.com Tour History Tomorrow at Pumpkin Ridge
The fifth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz continued today with 156 players teeing it up on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. As the regular season finale the event offers four final rounds for players to secure one of the 25 available PGA TOUR cards.
Money list leader Sungjae Im is having a historic season on the Web.com Tour. After winning the first event of the regular season in the Bahamas, the native of South Korea looks to bookend his season with another victory at the regular season finale. With the regular season money list being finalized after tomorrow’s final round, Im will make history as the only player in Web.com Tour history to lead the money list wire-to-wire.
Im’s third round included four birdies against just one bogey. It all added up to a third round of 3-under 68, his third consecutive sub-70 score on Pumpkin Ridge’s Witch Hollow course. Im will take a two shot lead into Sunday’s final round.
Overnight leader Derek Ernst began today’s third round with momentum on his side after setting the tournament’s 36-hole scoring record. He battled his way to a third round 73 that included a birdie on the par-5 18th.
The low round of the day went to Auburn University alum Roland Thatcher who carded a 6-under 65. After entering the week ranked 123rd on the Money List, a win tomorrow would make him the lowest ranked player entering the week in Portland Open history to hoist the trophy.
Gates open tomorrow at 7:30 AM and all fans receive admission to the complimentary Breakfast at Pumpkin Ridge beginning at 9:00 AM on the Witch Hollow patio. For final round pairings and tee times visit WinCoGolf.com and follow us on social media for up to the minute tournament news, updates and more.
Ernst Continues to Lead After Second Round 67
The fifth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz continued today with 156 players teeing it up on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. As the regular season finale the event offers four final rounds for players to secure one of the 25 available PGA TOUR cards.
Overnight leader Derek Ernst followed up his course record opening round with a four-under 67 earlier today. His 36-hole total of 14-under sets the tournament record for lowest score at the halfway point. “I’m just doing all the right things,” said Ernst moments after his first round 61. “I’m not trying too hard and I’m kind of letting golf come to me. I can shoot 100 or I can shoot 61, and my daughter and my wife will love me the same.” The 2013 Wells Fargo Champion began the week ranked 76th on the money list, a win on Sunday would propel him well inside the coveted 25.
2016 WinCo Foods Portland Open champion Ryan Brehm will need a big weekend here in Portland to earn his PGA TOUR card. Friday he took a significant step in that direction moving off of the cut line and into contention following a round of 4-under 67. Sebastian Munoz, 7th on the Money List entering the week, electrified the galleries when he aced the 171-yard par-3 2nd hole.
Web.com Tour Money List leader Sungjae Im continued his fine play posting a 5-under 66 in his second round. Im became the second youngest winner in Web.com Tour history earlier this season when he won the season opening Bahamas Great Exuma Classic. The only player to win on the Web.com Tour at a younger age is 12-time PGA TOUR winner Jason Day.
Gates open tomorrow at 7:30 AM. For third round pairings and tee times visit WinCoGolf.com and follow us on social media for up to the minute tournament news, updates and more.
PGA TOUR Winner Derek Ernst Cards Eleven Birdies En Route to 61
The fifth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz began earlier today with 156 players teeing it up on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. As the regular season finale the event offers four final rounds for players to secure one of the 25 available PGA TOUR cards.
2013 Wells Fargo Champion Derek Ernst got off to a blazing start Thursday making Pumpkin Ridge history in the process. After a par, birdie, bogey start, Ernst reeled off five consecutive birdies, going out in 5-under 31. After birdies on five of his first six holes on the back nine, the UNLV alum closed with three consecutive pars to tie the course record set by Ted Potter Jr. during round two of the 2016 Portland Open. Earlier today at The Wyndham Championship, Brandt Snedeker carded golf’s magic number of 59 and Ernst’s run teased history as it would have been the first time in history that two players broke 60 at a PGA TOUR sanctioned event on the same day. Ernst tees off at 7:10 AM on the 10th hole tomorrow alongside Sepp Straka and Curtis Luck. For the full round two pairings, click HERE.
Eugene native Scott Harrington played his first competitive round since taking a leave of absence in May to be with his wife Jenn following her second diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma. Harrington posted a round of even par 71 this morning and will begin his second round hovering around the cut line. Harrington starts his second round at 12:51 PM alongside Alex Prugh and Kyoung-Hoon Lee.
Other notable scores include former University of Oregon star Wyndham Clark (75), Money List leader Sungjae Im (65) and winner of the inaugural Portland Open, Carlos Ortiz (68).
Round two begins at 7:00 AM tomorrow and gates open at 7:30 AM. For more information, visit WinCoGolf.com or follow us on social media for up to the minute tournament news, updates and more.
The fifth annual WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz kicked off tournament week Monday evening with the Official Pro-Am Dinner at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. In front of an audience of more than 700 sponsors, members and media partners, executives from WinCo Foods and Lagardere Sports announced that this year’s tournament raised a record breaking $1.375 Million for charity. This breaks the tournaments previous record from 2017 and brings the total charitable contributions to nearly $6 Million in just five years.
“Thanks to the amazing support of our title sponsor, WinCo Foods, our supporting sponsors and our fans, we are thrilled to announce this huge contribution to deserving charities,” said Jeff Sanders, Executive Vice President of Lagardere Sports, management company of the WinCo Foods Portland Open. “Our goal since the very first tee shot in 2014 was to make a positive impact in the Portland community and we look forward to continuing to further the important work that these benefitting charities do to help those in need.”
The announcement came moments before the night's entertainment – a concert from Lady Antebellum front man Charles Kelley - took the stage to complete a fantastic evening, setting the tone for the week ahead.
This week marks the finale of the 23-event Web.com Tour regular season where 25 professionals will earn their PGA TOUR cards on Sunday.
“This is a life changing week in many regards,” said WinCo Foods Chief Executive Officer Steven Goddard. “Not only will 25 of the world’s finest golfers achieve their dreams of earning their TOUR cards, but more than 150 Greater Portland charities will benefit from the money this event raises, supporting thousands of people in the community. We are very proud that in just five years we have almost eclipsed the 6 MILLION dollar mark.”
Through the Nabisco TICKETS Fore CHARITY program, 100% of tournament ticket sales are given directly to Portland area charities.
This week the spotlight will be on Portland as 156 of the world’s best golfers compete on the famed Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge. Players who have earned their PGA TOUR cards here in past years include 2017 PLAYERS Champion Si Woo Kim, 2016 NCAA Champion Aaron Wise and 2017 PGA TOUR Player of the Year Justin Thomas, 2017 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele and two-time PGA TOUR winner Daniel Berger. In total, Web.com Tour alums have accounted for 502 wins on the PGA TOUR including most recently Justin Thomas’ victory at the WGC Bridgestone.
Of the many notable players competing this week, 2017 Pac-12 Player of the Year and former Oregon Duck Wyndham Clark will look to thrill the Oregon crowds on his way to the PGA TOUR.
Golf Channel will broadcast this week’s tournament internationally to more than 800 Million viewers worldwide.
The tournament offers many special events and amenities for fans to enjoy at no additional charge including the Under Armour Junior Golf Clinic from 12:00 – 2:00 PM on Wednesday afternoon and Family Day, held Saturday from 12:00 – 4:00 PM. Located on the 12th hole and open Thursday – Sunday, The Grove will feature 28 different wineries and breweries for fans to enjoy including complimentary tastings. On Sunday, all fans will be treated to a free breakfast between 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
Daily tickets to the tournament are $15, weekly tickets are just $25 and kids 17 and under get in free all week. To purchase tickets supporting Portland area charities and for more information, visit WinCoGolf.com.
BY KERRY EGGERS/PORTLAND TRIBUNE/Ninth on Web.com Tour, Wyndham Clark will play at Pumpkin Ridge
The good ones don't set their sights low.Wyndham Clark is a good one.
Clark ranks ninth on the Web.com Tour money list this season with $185,600 in earnings and is guaranteed to finish as one of the tour's top-25 money-winners, which means he has earned his PGA Tour card for the 2019 season.
The former Oregon golfer, who will compete in the WinCo Foods Portland Open Aug. 16-19 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Course, doesn't want to settle for that.
"My goal is that No. 1 spot (on the Web.com regular-season money list)," Clark says.
That's because the top Web.com money-winner earns exempt status on the PGA Tour, which allows him entry into most events on the premier circuit in professional golf.
"(Getting No. 1) really helps your first year out on (the PGA) tour," Clark says from Omaha, Nebraska, where he is playing in the Pinnacle Bank Championship this week. "I'm going to try my best to get up there (to No. 1 on the list). I need to finish at least in the top 10, which also helps your status for the (PGA) tour."
Tour officials have figured that players with at least $170,000 in Web.com earnings already have qualified for their PGA Tour card.
"It's pretty awesome, a dream come true," says Clark, a Denver native now making Las Vegas his home. "I've always wanted to be on the PGA Tour. It is amazing it has only taken one year (playing professionally) to do it. It's surreal. I'll be playing every week (on the PGA Tour) starting with the Safeway Open (at Napa, California, in October)."
Clark, 24, wasn't sure how quickly he would be able to work his way up the ladder after completing his college eligibility with a year at Oregon following a transfer from Oklahoma State. He was the Pac-12 individual champion — Oregon's first conference medalist since Brent Murray in 1978 — in helping the Ducks to their first outright conference championship since 1959.
The 6-foot, 170-pound Coloradan then played a big part in Oregon's runner-up finish at the NCAA Championships. Clark was the only Duck to win his match against the Sooners at Rich Harvest Farms Course in Sugar Grove, Illinois.
"It was a good year all-around," Clark says. "I played great, and I enjoyed my experience with the team and Casey (Martin, the head coach) and (then-assistant coach) John Ellis. Everything Oregon had to offer was fantastic. It was a refreshing year for me."
After turning pro in June, Clark gained sponsor's exemptions to play in five PGA Tour events.
He missed the cut in four of them but tied for 51st in the Quicken Loans National at Potomac, Maryland in July, cashing $16,933.
Clark has played in three PGA Tour events this season, missing the cut twice but tying for 17th at 7-under-par 281 in the Sanderson Farms Championship at Jackson, Mississippi, last October.
"I played awesome the first two days," Clark says. "On Saturday, I was in third place when I went double-double on (holes) 16 and 17. That really hurt. It could have been a career-changing week."
Clark qualified for full status on the Web.com Tour this year by finishing in the top 45 (tied for 23rd, shooting 16-under 272) at Q-school in December. He had a slow start on the secondary tour this year. Clark missed the cut in four of the first six tournaments, though he was tied for fourth at 13-under 275 in the second event, the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic.
"I was making mistakes and too many bogeys," he says. "It was frustrating."
Clark has had better success since then. He was second in the United Leasing and Finance Championship at Newburgh, Indiana, in late April, third at the Knoxville Open in early May and tied for fifth in the Lincoln Land Championship in Springfield, Illinois, at 20-under 264, in late June.
"It's been up and down, but overall it's been good," he said. "I got my (PGA Tour) card. That was the first goal. I've learned a lot about myself and my game. I've gotten into a pretty good groove of understanding what pro golf is and what I have to offer. I've gotten more consistent and grown as a player."
A year ago, Martin said Clark would be top five in driving distance on the PGA Tour — with his game then, as a college senior. Today, Clark stands eighth in the category among Web.com Tour players at 320 yards per drive. What does it feel like to hit a ball 300 yards that consistently?
"It's what I've been doing for a long time," he says with a chuckle. "It feels normal to me. It is a great weapon to have, to be able to hit it like that."
Clark is also fourth on the Web.com Tour in putting average (1.7), fifth in birdie average (4.48) and seventh in sand-save percentage.
"My short game has always been really good," Clark says. "Putting has been my biggest strength. (The short game) is something I've worked on a lot. I'm always practicing bunker shots and short-game shots. It can save you a lot of strokes."
Clark is looking forward to playing in the WinCo Foods Portland Open in a month.
"I love Portland, and I love getting back to Oregon," he says. "It's like a second or third home for me. I have tons of friends there, and my sister (Kaitlin Nordby) lives in Portland. Good memories there all around. I'm excited."
Clark has never played Pumpkin Ridge.
"I've heard a lot about it," he says. "I'll get some inside information from some of my buddies and (ex-Oregon) teammates, and I might go out there early to play a few rounds and get comfortable with the course."
By Associated Press
Aaron Wise’s pure iron leaves 4-foot birdie chance at AT&T Byron Nelson
DALLAS -- Aaron Wise strolled up the 18th fairway in the fading twilight, lifting his hat over his head a couple of times as the thinned-out crowd cheered what would soon be his first PGA TOUR victory at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The 21-year-old rookie pulled away from Marc Leishman at the turn after a four-hour rain delay to start the final round at the new Trinity Forest course Sunday. Then it was just a race to finish before nightfall so he wouldn't have to wait at least another 12 hours to celebrate.
Wise shattered the AT&T Byron Nelson record at 23 under, shooting a 6-under 65 to beat Leishman by three strokes as both became the first to finish the AT&T Byron Nelson at 20 under or better. Leishman, who shared the third-round lead with Wise after leading the first two days, shot 68.
The treeless links-style par-71 layout, a few miles south of downtown Dallas, was defenseless with softer fairways and greens and no wind once the morning storms passed.
The AT&T Byron Nelson celebrated its 50th anniversary with a return to Dallas after 35 years at the TPC Four Seasons in suburban Irving. Rory Sabbatini set the previous record on that par-70 layout at 19-under 261 in 2009.
"It's everything I've dreamed of," said Wise, who won once each on the Web.com Tour and Mackenzie Tour - PGA TOUR Canada. "I felt like when it rained today I was really going to tear the course up just because it allowed me to hit driver, which is my strength. I got a lot of short irons in my hand and was able to make a lot birdies."
Branden Grace matched his career-best 62 from last year's Open Championship -- which was the lowest round ever in a major -- and finished at 19 under with J.J. Spaun and Keith Mitchell, who had matching 63s.
Hometown star Jordan Spieth again couldn't improve on his best AT&T Byron Nelson finish from his first start as a 16-year-old amateur in 2010. The three-time major winner, and highest-ranked player in the field at No. 3, shot 67 to finish at 11 under. Spieth tied for 21st.
Instead, Spieth has been joined by another 21-and-under winner, with Wise cruising a month shy of his 22nd birthday and two weeks after the 2016 NCAA individual champion at Oregon tied for second at the Wells Fargo Championship, two-shots behind Jason Day.
Spieth doesn't have a top-10 finish in eight AT&T Byron Nelson appearances, the most of any tournament for him.
"Felt like I played better than I scored," Spieth said. "Typically when you say that, it just means putts didn't go in."
Mitchell, also a rookie seeking his first win, and Ryan Blaum had matching 30s on the front nine, with both playing the last six holes on that side in 5 under. But Wise had five birdies over those six holes, and added one on the 10th while Leishman bogeyed.
His lead suddenly at four shots, Wise cruised from there without another par -- and didn't need one. Blaum's run of five straight birdies ended with a bogey at 10, one of three on the back nine for him. He shot 66 and finished at 16 under with Kevin Na (68) and Jimmy Walker (67).
Leishman set a 36-hole AT&T Byron Nelson record that was previously shared by Tiger Woods because of calm wind the first two rounds. A blustery Saturday brought scores up, but Trinity Forest was even more benign for the final round than it was the first two without its firm fairways and greens.
"Springtime in Texas, this is very rare to have three days with no wind," Spieth said. "This course typically plays like (Saturday). That's what you're looking at normally three out of the four days here."
Adam Scott shot 65 to finish tied for ninth at 15 under but was projected to finish just outside the top 60 needed to avoid sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open. The 2013 Masters champion hasn't missed a major since 2001.