August 16 2012
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Tim Clark didn't prepare for the Wyndham Championship like most of the rest of the field. He headed to the Bahamas for a few days to recharge his batteries after tying for 11th at the PGA.
"It was a brutal week," Clark said. "Felt like I needed a little bit of relaxation."
And why not? Clark knew he was playing well after shooting a final-round 69 at the Ocean Course. Not to mention, he has two ties for sixth in his last three appearances at the Wyndham Championship, including one at Sedgefield Country Club.
And Clark knew there were low scores out there Thursday after seeing his former college roommate Carl Pettersson, the 2008 Wyndham Championship winner, shot a 62 in the morning. The South African almost caught him in the afternoon, too, shooting a 63 to tie with David Mathis, one stroke off the lead.
"Obviously very pleased with that," Clark said. "Didn't really know what to expect coming up but having seen Carl shoot what he did in the morning I knew it was out there if I played a great round so it was nice to sort of keep pace."
Clark finished his round off with an exclamation point, rolling in a bomb of a 33-footer for his fifth birdie on the final hole. He also made an 8-foot eagle putt at the fifth hole.
"I didn't want to come up short, a tricky putt but I used great imagination on the greens all day," Clark said. "I was able to read the putt. Obviously hit it a little bit firm. Probably would have missed the green if it didn't hit the hole."
Clark appears to be peaking at the right time. After returning from elbow surgery five months ago, he posted his best finish of the season in a tie for fourth at the Travelers Championship. He has finished 15th or better in his last two starts -- moving 124th to 109th in the FedExCup at the PGA last week.
"I needed to play well there and had to get myself in a good position going forward," Clark said. "So I felt like I was under the gun the last few weeks. I seem to play better like that.
“This is a huge week. You have a good opportunity to move way up in the standings and get yourself started. You have to play well. I really want to move up now and then carry that momentum to the Playoffs."
And Clark knows what he needs to do to have a chance to make the Wyndham Championship his second PGA TOUR title.
"I got to keep pace with Carl," Clark said. "He likes this course, he's won here and when he goes low, he really goes low. If I'm able to hang in there, it's going to be a lot of fun."