d.a. points

Rickie Fowler has such a doll for a girlfriend. They are so sweet together. Rickie Fowler © of the United States celebrates with the championship trophy alongside his mother Lynne Fowler (L) and girlfriend Alexandra Brown ® after defeating Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and D.A. Points of the United States in a playoff 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)

Fowler's Time

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By: Wyatt Stephens

CHARLOTTE, NC – It has been a long waiting game for Rickie Fowler’s first PGA TOUR victory.  Now, the waiting game is over.

Fowler produced his first victory on Sunday after winning the tenth annual Wells Fargo Championship, defeating D.A. Points and fellow peer Rory McIlroy in a three-way playoff on the first playoff hole. 

The three stayed within a shot of one another for most of the day during regulation.  All players birdied the par five 15th, while Fowler would find bogey on the par four 16th

“I didn’t hit a bad drive or that bad of a drive on 16, unfortunately plugged in the front bunker on my second shot, and tried to play a putt that took the break on the par putt and ended up not being the greatest putt of all,” Fowler said. 

Fowler’s bogey on 16 would briefly drop him from the leaderboard but both McIlroy and Points would find trouble on holes 17th and 18th, respectively.

Points was in the driver’s seat all day until a bogey on 18 during regulation forced a playoff with McIlroy and Fowler. 

“It hit on the corner of the bunker and shot to the back.  I was hoping that I was going to be a little bit more on an up slope and be able to hit a higher, softer shot,” said Points on his bogey during regulation.  “Instead, I kind of had to try to hit something low and try to run it down there, which obviously didn’t work very well.”

Though disappointed, Points walked away with a sense of accomplishment.  “Yeah, as good as it’s been [ball-striking] in a very long time, since probably 2009 maybe.”

McIlroy also had a sense of accomplishment after regaining his title of world number one.  “It is always nice to get back to the top,” McIlroy told ESPN’s Michael Collins.  “Hopefully I can play well over the next few weeks and try to solidify my position.” 

But the biggest sense of accomplishment would come from that of 23-year-old Fowler, who put an end to all the guessing games.

“It was a just more of when.  I definitely knew I was good enough, and it was just getting everything to come together and stay patient,” Fowler said. 

“It’ll take a bit for it to sink in.  Obviously there’s a lot of people that have helped me out through the years.”

And most of Fowler’s support from the years watched on the 18th green as Fowler tapped in for his first victory.   

“Well, I’m bummed Bubba wasn’t around,” a cheerful Fowler said.  “No, it was great to have two of my good buddies out here, Badds [Aaron Baddeley] and Ben [Crane].” 

Both an emotional Baddeley and Crane waited patiently to give Fowler a hug after his win.

“I’m surprised Ben didn’t start dancing around or anything on the green.”  “It’s nice to have the support from fellow players and good friends here and nice to see some familiar faces waiting there behind the green.” 

One familiar face who was not present was Fowler’s swing coach, Barry McDonnell, who passed away a year ago.

“I tried not to mention my swing coach Barry a whole lot because that definitely pulls a whole lot out of me.  It’s nice to have him watching down.” 

And watching down he was, as the youngster became the third-youngest player to win at the Wells Fargo.  Fowler’s win also makes him the eighth youngest player to win on the TOUR. 

“It’s been a wait, but I’m definitely still young, and hopefully this opens doors to many more.” 

PHOTO CREDIT: STREETER LECKA/GETTY IMAGES