Clark Clarifies 'I'm Better Than Rory' Comments

Wyndham Clark is making his Ryder Cup debut this week and, if we didn't know it already from his US Open heroics, he's not short of confidence.

In an interview with Golf Today he was asked whether he would fancy a singles clash with Europe's talisman Rory McIlroy, who he beat by a shot at Los Angeles Country Club in June.

“I have tons of respect for Rory and because of that respect, I also want to beat him,” Clark said. “I like to think I am better than him and I want to prove that. I would love to play Rory. I think that would be really fun for the fans too. Long-ball hitters. We have similar games in that respect. It would be a little bit of David and Goliath. I am hoping to get that chance. Regardless of who I play, I am really excited. But that one would be a lot of fun.”

Needless to say the headlines this week were the 'I like to think I am better than Rory' which, in truth, was just Clark backing himself with the confidence needed for a player of his standing.

Come his press conference in Italy the American clarified his comments.

“If you listen to the whole interview, I praised [Rory] and said how much I respect him and how good I think he is and how he’s one of the best players in the last 20 years. And what I said was, I think I’m better than him when I’m playing good – if I don’t think I’m better than every player out here, then what am I doing?

"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.”

But he then made another fairly bold claim due to the fact that the Europeans have been playing while the PGA Tour put its shutters up at the end of August at the Tour Championship.

“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.”

All being well Clark will get to take on McIlroy in Rome and, all being well, the result will be a different one to the one at the US Open.