Wyndham Clark clarifies McIlroy comments before making fresh Team Europe claim

U.S. Open champion Wyndham Clark says his comments about Rory McIlroy ahead of the Ryder Cup in Italy were taken out of context. 

Wyndham Clark clarifies McIlroy comments before making fresh Team Europe claim
Wyndham Clark clarifies McIlroy comments before making fresh Team Europe…

ROME - Wyndham Clark says his comments about Rory McIlroy were 'taken out of context'. 

Clark hit the headlines last week when he talked-up the prospect of a Sunday singles duel with the Northern Irishman. 

The American rookie, 29, has already gotten the better of McIlroy in 2023 when he held off the Ulsterman's charge to claim the U.S. Open in Los Angeles.

Clark then doubled down on what he said in an interview with Sky Sports and even claimed he thinks he's the best player across the 24 golfers competing in this Ryder Cup. 

But as Clark explained, there's a catch. 

"What I said was I think I'm better than him when I'm playing good," Clark said. "If I don't think I'm better than every player out here, then what am I doing?" 

He added:

"If I'm trying to be the best player in the world, which is what I'm trying to be, I've got to believe that.
"Right now, maybe I'm not. He's had a way better career than me, that's obvious. But I also have to have that self-belief that I can beat anyone out here.
"It is kind of funny to me that people took it that way because they kind of saw that I'm better than him and I want to beat him. Well, of course I want to beat him and of course I believe that I can beat him.
"Yeah, it's interesting how things get taken out of context."

Clark said he hasn't had the opportunity to see McIlroy in person here yet. 

They are bound to bump into each other eventually before the contest begins on Friday morning. 

Clark said: "What am I supposed to say? If I say I think he's better than me and he's going to beat me, then I'm going to get ridiculed because people don't think I have any self-belief; and then if I have self-belief, which I do in myself, people take it out of context either way, so it was kind of a tough question." 

Of McIlroy, he added: "I don't know if Rory saw the full interview or if he just saw the little snippet that everyone is running with or if he's seen it at all. I have not seen him or talked to him. I would love to talk to him because I imagine he'd probably give me some jabs here and there.

"Like I said, I have so much respect for Rory. I've always looked up to him. Even when I was in college, Rory was winning majors. I'm like, man, one day I'd love to be Rory McIlroy.

"By no means did I say anything that was trying to belittle what he did or be cocky or arrogant; it's more just self-belief in myself. I'd love to get a chance to play against him this week, and if it doesn't happen, that's fine." 

"Anytime I get Rory in a pairing, I'm excited because I like to measure myself up against the best players in the world and see how I fare." 

There is no denying Team USA are well-rested coming into this contests. 

All 12 of Donald's European Team played at Wentworth earlier in the month. Some played in Ireland. Rookie Bob MacIntyre played the French Open last week and missed the cut. 

Clark reckons Team Europe might already be gassed. 

He said: "I think the European team, it's great that they got to play, but I also think they might be maybe a little mentally fatigued as this week goes on.

"This is obviously a very intense environment and mentally challenging, and then also you put in a pretty physically demanding golf course being so hilly and up and down that maybe come Sunday they might be leaking oil and we'll be fresh."

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