It took over 70 career events and four career second place finishes, but Rickie Fowler finally earned his first career victory on the PGA Tour on Sunday, taking home the top spot in the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
Golf has seen quite an overhaul in the past few years with new young names taking over the game and bringing in a different audience to the sport. The recent success of “The Golf Boys” has been great for the sport. Bubba Watson‘s victory at Augusta last month was a big win for these new names and Fowler, who has an enormous following, should see his win bring even more attention.
Fowler was already a tremendous marketing presence for the Tour and for Puma and all he really needed was his first win to establish himself on the tour. And he finally did it on Sunday.
Fowler came into Sunday in contention for his first win on the Tour, but most were unsure if he’d actually be able to pull it off, especially against the likes of Rory McIlroy.
The two, along with D.A. Points, would go to a playoff even at 14-under. On the first hole of the playoff, Fowler hit a beauty of a shot with the wedge, landing on the green, four feet from the hole. That set him up with the easy birdie putt to help him beat out both McIlroy and Points for the win.
If Fowler thought there was already a microscope over him, it’s going to be even more intense now. He’s finally managed that first win and has that monkey off of his back. Now it’s time to put it into overdrive, and the timing is absolutely perfect for Fowler and for the PGA Tour.
The first win is the toughest. And now that Fowler has that out of the way, we should see what he’s made of heading into the summer, which holds the biggest tournaments of the year. Those tournaments should give a really good indication of what we have in Rickie Fowler, and it starts with THE PLAYERS Championship next weekend.
Regardless of what we see from Fowler this summer, his win is a big one for a sport that continues to grow in popularity as one of the game’s best known players picked up his first victory. Add that to the underrated fact that he beat out another young gun in McIlroy and you’ve got a very successful weekend for the PGA Tour.