Rickie Fowler won his first professional title this past weekend at the OneAsia Tour’s Korea Open, finishing with a 3-under 68. It was a six-stroke victory over US Open champ, Rory McIlroy, and one of Fowler’s biggest moments of his career.
“It was a lot of fun,” the 2010 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year said, “I played well early on in the final round, and then I was comfortable over the last few holes.” Later he tweeted: “First win...@KOLONKOREAOPEN feels really good!! Now time to get my first on the @PGATOUR!!”
Rickie opened with rounds of 67 and 70, and shot a 63 on Saturday. McIlroy finished with a 64. South Korea’s Kim Meen-whee (71) was third at 10 under, and countryman Y.E. Yang (75) followed at 5 under. Starting the day with a four-stroke lead over Y.E. Yang, not even consecutive bogeys on the last two holes could derail his title charge.
"I'm happy with the way I have played on the PGA Tour, but I have never shot low enough to win,” he explained. “This week I played well for four rounds, which I have not been able to do that in the past. I will play mainly on the PGA Tour next year and I would like to get my first win there, and this win will definitely help me achieve that.”
If I had played a little better and shot a few under I might have had a chance, but Rickie has played fantastic this week and he deserves the win.
McIlroy, meanwhile, closed with a fine 64 to finish 10 under, but the Northern Irishman was undone by Saturday's 73, which left him 10 shots behind Fowler at the start of the day.
"It was a nice way to finish, but all the damage was done during the third round with a couple of bad holes in the middle of the round," he said. "Looking back on this week, I will rue my third round, which could have been a lot better. If I had played a little better and shot a few under I might have had a chance, but Rickie has played fantastic this week and he deserves the win."