Fowler wins first PGA title in playoff

Mon May 7, 2012 6:01am GMT

(Reuters) - Rickie Fowler delivered on his vast potential by claiming his first PGA Tour win at the Wells Fargo championship with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff against Briton Rory McIlroy and fellow American D.A. Points at Quail Hollow on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Fowler finally justified his billing as one of the game's top young players when he sank a four-footer for birdie at the 18th hole to claim victory at the Charlotte, North Carolina course.

"It's a good feeling right now," Fowler told reporters after winning in his 67th professional start. "Definitely some relief, satisfaction.

"I definitely knew I was good enough, and it was just getting everything to come together and stay patient."

Despite losing out in the playoff, the finish ensured U.S. Open champion McIlroy, who is also 23, would reclaim the number one world ranking from Luke Donald.

Fowler fired a three-under-par 69 to join McIlroy (70) and Points (71) in the sudden-death playoff after tying at 14-under-par 274 after the regulation 72 holes.

Fowler, who had made the last U.S. Ryder Cup team despite lacking a tour victory, saw the pressure lift off his shoulders when both Points and McIlroy missed their long birdie putts and had to settle for par.

McIlroy had left himself 34 feet from the cup after his approach shot, and Points was 41 feet away.

Home-town favorite Webb Simpson, the third-round leader who lives about a mile from the course, finished one stroke out of the playoff at 275 after posting a 73 for fourth place.   Continued...

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