CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Rickie Fowler finally picked up his first PGA Tour win Sunday in what might be the start of a rivalry for years to come.
Fowler brought style and substance to a sudden-death playoff at Quail Hollow and delivered a clutch shot — a wedge into 4 feet to birdie the 18th hole and win the Wells Fargo Championship over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy and D.A. Points.
The 23-year-old Fowler has been talked about as the next American star since he turned pro with his flashy colors and all-orange outfit on Sunday, his trademark. Now he has a trophy to back up the hype, coming in his 67th start as a pro on the PGA Tour.
And he beat the 23-year-old McIlroy to do it.
“I’m looking forward to playing with Rory for a long time,” said Flower, who closed with a 3-under 69. “It’s awesome. It’s a long wait, but well worth it.”
McIlroy established himself on the same green two years ago, a 20-year-old who closed out a record 62 by making a 40-foot putt. This time, it was Fowler’s turn.
Along for the ride was Points, a 35-year-old who had the tournament in his grasp until ending 40 straight holes without a bogey by making one at the worst time. He had a one-shot lead going to the 18th in regulation, hit his approach in a bunker and never came close to a par.
McIlroy had a shot at winning in regulation and missed a 15-foot birdie putt.
In the playoff, all three hit the fairway, with McIlroy hitting a 3-wood that traveled nearly 340 yards. Fowler’s wedge covered the flag and spun some 4 feet away. Points went long and did well to two-putt for his par, making the second one from 12 feet. McIlroy hit his wedge well right of the flag and had to work hard for a two-putt par.