Wells Fargo Championship: Rickie Fowler Gets First US Pro Win

Carlos TorresContributor IMay 6, 2012

CHARLOTTE, NC - MAY 06:  Rickie Fowler of the United States celebrates after making a putt for birdie on the first playoff hole to defeat Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and D.A. Points of the United States during the final round to win the Wells Fargo Championship at the Quail Hollow Club on May 6, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Rickie Fowler birdied the first sudden-death playoff hole and defeated Rory McIlroy and D. A. Points to win the Wells Fargo Championship and earn his first professional win on American soil.

His previous lone professional win had come at the Kolon Korea Open last October. He won by six strokes and the runner-up was coincidentally Rory McIlroy.

Webb Simpson entered Sunday leading the tournament but shot a one-over 73 and finished at 13-under-par in solo fourth place.

Fowler, McIlroy and Points went back to the 18th hole after finishing tied at 14-under-par to play the first hole of their sudden-death extra time and all three hit monster drives to the middle of the fairway.

Points went first, and his approach shot went over the hole to the top-left part of the green over 25 feet from the hole.

Then went Fowler with a gap-wedge, and he hit the wedge shot of his career. The approach shot landed just four feet to the left of the hole below cup level. This made the shot a shot uphill put with no movement either way.

McIlroy's approach shot went way right from the start and never cut back toward the cup landing about 20 feet from the hole.

Points missed left of the hole with the fast downhill putt, and McIlroy missed his badly to the right as he expected it to break left.

After this, both Points and McIlroy made their par putts and left Fowler to attempt his championship putt. Fowler lined it up and sank the winning putt easily and won his first tour win in the US.

A great win for Fowler, who was at 15-under-par, but a bogey on the 16th hole dropped him to 14-under-par, and he had to watch both Points and McIlroy fall later on to the three-way tie to play the sudden-death playoff.

This could be the long-awaited breakthrough win for Fowler. He has been playing very good golf lately, and this could be the confidence booster he needs as we head to the fifth major.

McIlroy's finish awarded him, once again, the world's No. 1 ranking, and he will head to The Players Championship as the top player in the world and favored to win it.

Lee Westwood was at seven-under-par for the day and 12-under-par total after 10 holes and moved into contention at the moment, but a bogey on the 12th hole dropped him a shot, and he could never get going again. 

He finished tied for fifth at 11-under-par with Ben Curtis and Ryan Moore. This marked another good showing for Ben Curtis who shot a five-under-par 67 to close the tournament.

Nick Watney finished solo eight at 10-under-par.

Now, we move to the fifth major, The Players Championship, and the storylines and expectations with the recent tournament developments, making it even more of the tournament to watch.