Caddie John Ellis Basks In Joy Of Seeing Wyndham Clark Win The U.S. Open

LOS ANGELES (AP) — John Ellis understands the pressure of playing in the U.S. Open. Now the caddie for Wyndham Clark, Ellis competed in the championship twice.

Ellis said he felt just as much pressure carrying Clark’s bag as he played the back nine Sunday during the final round at Los Angeles Country Club.

“I care about my guy so much that you know, I find myself getting nervous for him because I want him to do well,” Ellis said after Clark beat Rory McIlroy by one shot to win his first major. “The kid was a rock today.”

As Clark was taking questions from reporters, Ellis was smiling and enjoying a beer near the clubhouse.

The player-caddie relationship began in 2016, when Clark transferred to the University of Oregon, where Ellis was an assistant coach. Clark said Sunday night that Ellis has had other opportunities but has stuck by him.

“I owe a lot to him. I feel like John is meant to be my caddie, but it’s so much more than just a business relationship,” Clark said. “This just makes it so much more special that we have that bond and relationship.”

This weekend marked the first time Ellis had made it to the weekend at the U.S. Open. He missed the cut as a player in 2008 and ’11 while Clark missed it the past two years.

Clark held a 1-shot lead over McIlroy going into the final two holes. He got up-and-down on No. 17 to save par and then two-putted the 18th.

“The (chip) shot on 17, obviously, he was nervous. He admitted being a little nervous coming down the stretch,” Ellis said. “You know, we’re fortunate that wasn’t that tough of a spot. But under the circumstances, obviously it’s a tough spot and he flipped it up there for a gimme, which was amazing. And then the two-putt on 18 was incredible.”

Ellis has always believed in Clark’s game, but he thinks others will now notice something he has seen all along.

“I don’t think he’s gotten enough credit. He’s made 17 cuts in a row. He’s been playing some amazing golf, so I saw it even before we got here this week. I expected him to have a chance this week.

“He came here last week and says ‘I could send the text he says we’re gonna win the U.S. Open.’ So, pretty cool.”