Rickie Fowler of the USA came through a playoff with Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points to win the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Fowler posted a 72-hole total of 14-under-par that was matched by both McIlroy and Points. The trio went back to Quail Hollow’s testing 18th hole to settle the tournament over sudden-death.
All three players hit impeccable drives into the middle of the fairway. But, even from the perfect position, the approach was a treacherous one – the pin tucked on the left side of the green with a creek lurking ominously short and left.
Points went first and played long of the pin. Then Fowler stood up and hit one of the shots of his career. With a 51 degree wedge he took dead aim and fired in to within four feet of the cup. McIlroy couldn’t match that effort and left himself a tricky cross-green putt of about 25 feet.
Neither Points nor McIlroy were able to make their birdie efforts, though both holed out for par. That left Fowler with a putt for the title. He rolled it in with some confidence and pumped his fist in celebration.
“It’s a good feeling right now,” Fowler said. “Definitely some relief, satisfaction. I’m definitely happy. It’s not a bad thing, winning. It’s kind of fun.”
McIlroy and Points had no complaints losing out in the playoff, both conceded that Fowler had the edge.
“You wouldn’t call the 18th today a birdie hole with that pin,” McIlroy said. “For Rickie to go out and play that hole the way he did, he deserved to win.”
Fowler began the final round three behind Webb Simpson, but the 23-year-old closed the gap with three birdies between the 5th and 8th holes. Simpson struggled around the turn dropping three strokes between the 6th and 11th. Playing on his home course, Simpson was unable to recover and, despite back to back birdies on the 14th and 15th, he couldn’t quite reach the 14-under total, coming up one shot shy.
For Fowler, it was his first victory on the PGA Tour and it has moved him to 24th on the Official World Golf Ranking.
Wells Fargo Championship
Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina
3-6 May, purse $6,500,000, par 72
1 Rickie Fowler (USA) 66 72 67 69 274 $1,170,000
T2 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70 68 66 70 274 $572,000
T2 D.A. Points (USA) 66 68 69 71 274 $572,000
4 Webb Simpson (USA) 65 68 69 73 275 $312,000
T5 Ben Curtis (USA) 69 70 71 67 277 $237,250
T5 Ryan Moore (USA) 65 70 68 74 277 $237,250
T5 Lee Westwood (Eng) 71 72 68 66 277 $237,250
8 Nick Watney (USA) 68 64 72 74 278 $201,500
T9 Jonas Blixt (Swe) 68 73 67 71 279 $156,000
T9 Jonathan Byrd (USA) 69 69 72 69 279 $156,000
T9 Brian Davis (Eng) 66 74 69 70 279 $156,000
T9 Jason Day (Aus) 70 70 69 70 279 $156,000
T9 James Driscoll (USA) 71 70 69 69 279 $156,000
T9 Seung-Yul Noh (Kor) 68 70 70 71 279 $156,000
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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