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 in Charlotte, N.C., 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 Fowler, who closed with a 3-under 69. “It’s awesome. It’s a long wait, but well worth it.”
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.
McIlroy closed with a 70, and Points shot a 71.
Fred Funk birdied the final hole for a 5-under 67 and a one-stroke victory over Tom Lehman in the Insperity Championship at The Woodlands, Texas.
Tied with one hole left, Funk hit his approach on No. 18 to 2 feet. Lehman missed his birdie putt, and Funk tapped in for his seventh victory on the 50-and-over tour, but first since 2010. He finished at 14-under 202.
The 55-year-old Funk added one more good memory at The Woodlands Country Club, where he won the Houston Open in 1992 for his first win on the regular tour. He met his second wife, Sharon, at a post-tournament event that year and Sharon was the first to run onto the green and congratulate him Sunday.
Lehman closed with a 68. Mike Goodes (70) finished third at 10 under, and Michael Allen (71) was in a group at 8 under.
Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum won the LPGA Tour’s Brazil Cup exhibition event in Rio de Janeiro, shooting a bogey-free 6-under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Taiwan’s Amy Hung.
Phatlum finished at 13-under 133 in the two-day, 30-player tournament at Itanhanga Golf Club. She had five birdies on the front nine to pull away. Hung shot an 8-under 65, the best round of the event.