Rickie Fowler won the OneAsia Tour’s Kolon Korea Open on Sunday for his first professional title, closing with a 3-under 68 for a six-stroke victory over U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy.
The 22-year-old Fowler, the 2010 PGA Tour rookie of the year, finished at 16 under at Woo Jeong Hills Country Club. He opened with rounds of 67 and 70 and shot a 63 on Saturday.
KOLON KOREA OPEN
2009 PGA Championship winner Y.E. Yang won the 2010 Korea Open by overcoming a 10-shot deficit in the final round.
“It was a lot of fun,” Fowler said. “I played well early on in the final round and then I was comfortable over the last few holes. Overall, I enjoyed the whole week.
“It feels great to have the first win. I played well all week, although I did have to hang in on Friday and post a score,” he added. “But on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, I had good control of my ball, I drove well and I made some putts.”
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,” Fowler said. “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,” he explained. “I also haven't made the Tour Championship in the last two years, so that is another goal for next year. But the biggest goal is to make sure I make the Ryder Cup team."
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."