Rickie Fowler accomplished what he set out to do. Winning is easier said than done. “I definitely knew I was good enough, and it was just getting everything to come together and stay patient,” said Fowler afterwards. “I felt like I didn't exactly win the tournament on Friday, but I definitely gave myself the opportunity.” At the age of 23 years, 4 months and 23 days, he becomes the third player to make the Wells Fargo Championship his first PGA TOUR win and the third youngest to do so. Rory McIlroy (20 years, 11 months, 28 days) and Anthony Kim (22 years/10 months/15 days) made the event their first PGA TOUR victory as well. McIlroy in 2010 and Kim in 2008.
Fowler’s opening-round 66 is the lowest start by a winner of the Wells Fargo Championship and he is sixth player (7 wins) in his 20s to win on TOUR in 2012, compared to 11 in their 30s and two in their 40s. It was his third career start at the Wells Fargo Championship (T6-2010, T16-2011, 1-2012). “Obviously there's a lot of people that have doubted or said you'll never win or there's all kinds of stuff. So it's nice to kind of shut them up a little bit,” Fowler remarked about his naysayers. “I knew it was going to be tough. I put up a fight pretty early, got into a playoff at Fry's my second event out (here), so I knew I could be in contention. I knew that I could win out here, it was just putting together whether it be four rounds or being in the right position at the right time,” he said. “But I knew it was going to be tough. Taking the step from junior golf to college golf or to amateur golf and then from there to the PGA TOUR, it's the biggest leap you take, and these are the best players in the world. It's not easy to win out here, so it's nice to have the first one out of the way.”