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  • US Open Champion Wyndham Clark Wants To Turn Masters Dream Into Reality

US Open champion Wyndham Clark wants to turn Masters dream into reality

Masters rookie Wyndham Clark could write his name into the record books if he dons the green jacket on Sunday.

Fuzzy Zoeller was the last player to triumph at Augusta National on their tournament debut in 1979, but his place in the record books could be under serious threat from the likes of US Open champion Clark and world number nine Ludvig Aberg.

The Ryder Cup duo are part of a 20-strong rookie contingent which also includes recent PGA Tour winners Akshay Bhatia, Nick Dunlap, Stephan Jaeger and Jake Knapp, along with 2023 DP World Tour rookie of the year Ryo Hisatsune.

"Stats like that are meant to be broken," Clark said when asked about Zoeller's claim to fame.

"I know it's a tall task. It's a challenging golf course so it's not like you can just flip a switch and win it. But, yeah, that would be an amazing accomplishment.

"And I like my chances. I really like myself on this golf course. I feel good on a lot of tee shots and approaches, and there's so much creativity. So I feel good coming into the week."

Several players have come close to marking their debut with a win since Zoeller, with Dan Pohl losing a play-off to Craig Stadler in 1982 and Jordan Spieth, Jonas Blixt and Sungjae Im all finishing runner-up.

"Some guys have been close and in anyone's defence it's pretty hard to win in general," Clark added.

"There's great players that are out on the PGA Tour who still haven't won, or maybe they have won one time in a 10-year career. So it's very tough just to win in general, let alone in a major where everyone builds it up to be bigger than it is.

"But with that said, no-one thought I could win the US Open being the first time in contention, so I think records or curses or whatever they are, are meant to be broken, and if it's not me this week it could be Ludvig or someone else that does it."

Aberg's Masters debut is also his first appearance in any major, the 24-year-old having already claimed wins on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour and helped Europe regain the Ryder Cup since turning professional in June last year.

"It's a tricky balance because obviously I'm feeling all the first-time feelings that everyone's feeling, but I'm also trying to be OK with all those things coming at me at the same time," Aberg said.

"Because I think once you start fighting it, once you start trying to push it away, I think that's when it becomes tricky.

"So I guess all I'm trying to do is just embrace all the nerves and all the excitement that I feel and at the same time know my capabilities and know my qualities and know that that's probably going to be good enough to compete.

"I can't make any promises, but I'll definitely make sure that, come Thursday, I'll be as prepared as I can."

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