AVONDALE, La. – Wyndham Clark was born in Denver, went to college at the University of Oregon and now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz., and hasn’t had much experience with the teeming wildlife at TPC Louisiana, but his decision to wade into alligator-infested waters during the third round of the Zurich Classic still made him justifiably nervous.
Clark’s tee shot at the par-4 16th hole trickled into the shallow water of a hazard and he removed his shoes and rolled up his pants to play his approach.
“The first thing that went through my mind was snakes because I had to take my shoes off. There's snakes in Louisiana, so I thought about the snakes,” Clark said. “Then I was like, well, there's alligators all over this golf course right now, and it's also one of the ponds where there's big ones. I definitely thought about it.
“I got in quick, and within probably 15 seconds of being in there I pulled the trigger just in case because I knew my partner was going to make par, and then I pulled off a great shot.”
Clark’s approached landed 15 feet from the pin and he two-putted for a par that impressed his partner, Erik van Rooyen. “I’m happy I have a teammate who is willing to risk one of his limbs for me,” van Rooyen joked.
Clark, whose golf shirt and hat were left covered in mud following his recovery at the 16thhole, and van Rooyen shot a 9-under 63 in the four-ball (better-ball) session to move into an early tie for fourth place.