Wyndham Clark discusses his recent cheating accusations, says he wants golf's rules to be more 'user-friendly'

In the midst of Wyndham Clark’s great success the past 365 days, he’s been the epicenter of a couple of cheating controversies.

During his U.S. Open victory last year, fans said Clark should have been assessed a penalty in the final round after a grainy video showed him grounding a club greenside that may or may not have caused the ball to move.

At the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Clark did the same, grounding his club in the rough, which clearly showed the ball move. He was not given a penalty, however, and finished the tournament in second place.

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Wyndham Clark lines up a putt during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on February 3, 2024, in Pebble Beach, California. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

It should be noted that a ball is allowed to “move,” but if it returns to its original spot (it oscillates, in a fancier term), no penalty shall be assessed.

The Arnold Palmer Invitational incident was caught on live television, which Clark admitted didn’t “look great.”

But Clark, for the lack of a better term, maintained his innocence.

“It is unfortunate, because I had no ill intent to try to cheat or improve my lie,” he told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. “I didn’t even know anything had happened until I got into the scoring tent, and that’s when they showed me the video. You see the video, and you’re like, ‘Oh man, that doesn’t look great.'”

“It’s unfortunate that it looks poorly, but I really had no ill intents.”

Clark, though, said he and Scottie Scheffler, with whom he was paired for the final two rounds of that tournament (and he finished second on back-to-back weekends), along with officials, agreed that the ball only oscillated and “never changed positions.”

Wyndham Clark reacts after missing a putt on the seventh hole during the final round of the U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club on June 18, 2023. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)

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“In my defense, you’re allowed to put your club down and see your lie. It is what it is, and hopefully in a few weeks it passes by. But I’ve never tried to cheat in the game of golf, and hopefully people don’t think of me that way. I just think the camera was zoomed in and made it look worse than it really was.”

Of course, plenty of casuals play loosely and aren’t strictly following a rule book, but that’s not the case on tour.

Clark said he hopes golf “always [stays] a gentlemen’s game, especially at the professional level,” but said there could be improvements to “make the game easier and more approachable and less confusing and less difficult.”

“There are some things where I’m like, ‘Can we dumb it down on the rules and not make it so complicated and make it a little simpler and more user-friendly?’ It’s second nature for us, so I don’t think about [it] as much, but when I get into social golf with buddies, and they’re asking questions, they don’t understand, I’m like ‘you’re right, it is really complicated and probably should be easier and simpler.’”

Wyndham Clark is shown on the 17th green during the third round of the 123rd U.S. Open Championship at Los Angeles Country Club on June 17, 2023. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Clark’s lip-out on the 72nd hole of the Players Championship put him in a tie for second – had the putt gone down, he would have forced a playoff with Scheffler.

The 30-year-old has three wins under his belt, all of which have come since last May.

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