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Wyndham Clark hits fan’s iPad, lands in ridiculous rough in opening round

Wyndham Clark found himself in a patch of ridiculous rough Thursday during his opening round at the British Open, something he’s blaming at least partially on a fan and his iPad.

Clark’s drive off the par-4 14th at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England, landed in what has to be some of the thickest rough ever found at a major championship. The reigning US Open champion tried to punch it out and looked like he swung as hard as he possibly could while (barely) keeping his balance, but the ball didn’t go more than a couple of feet.

That little bit of movement proved to be just enough to help him out. Clark punched his third shot up near the green and managed to save bogey on the hole, his only one of the day. He finished with a 3-under 68, just 2 shots behind the leaders.

“That was huge,” Clark said of the bogey save. “A little unfortunate off the tee, obviously hitting the guy is never good, but it really went into a bad spot. If I didn’t hit the guy, probably would have been in fine grass and I would have been able to hit it up near the green.

“Then I had an awful lie and hit it about 2 feet.”

Wyndham Clark is 2 two shots off the lead after Thursday’s round at Royal Liverpool.  (Kyle Terada/USA Today)

Wyndham Clark is 2 shots off the lead after Thursday’s round at Royal Liverpool. (Kyle Terada/USA Today)

Clark snuck that little bit in about hitting a fan, something nobody else seemed to notice. He later clarified that he hit the fan’s iPad, which apparently altered the path of his ball.

“It hit his iPad,” Clark said. “Didn’t hit him.”

Clark was then asked if he did any damage to the iPad.

“Well, I don’t care now. It screwed me up,” he replied.

That’s one way to look at it.

Clark, after an even-par 35 on his front nine, then made two birdies in his final four holes to get to T7. He’ll enter Friday just 2 shots behind Tommy Fleetwood, Emiliano Grillo and amateur Christo Lamprecht, who shares the lead at 5-under. Clark is fresh off his win at the US Open in Los Angeles last month, where he fended off Rory McIlroy to win his first career major championship.

While he has a ways to go to pick up a second major championship in as many starts, Clark has put himself in a position to pull that off in England.

But if fans are out there watching his round the rest of the week, they might want to leave the iPads at home.