Fowler beats McIlroy in Korea

RICKIE FOWLER has claimed his first career win with an emphatic six stroke victory over US Open winner Rory McIlroy at the 2011 Kolon Korea Open.

The 22 year old American carded a three-under-par 68 final round to top the leaderboard at 16-under-par overall and complete a wire-to-wire win at the OneAsia tour event despite finishing with back-to-back bogeys.

McIlroy produced a fourth round rally after playing his final 11 holes in seven-under-par to card a superb 64, but the 22-year-old was left to rue a third round 73 as the world number three was forced to settle for a second consecutive runner-up finish.

“It was a lot of fun. 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,” said Fowler.

“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. But on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I had good control of my ball, I drove well, and I made some putts.”

The 2010 US PGA Tour Rookie of the Year began with opening rounds of 67 and 70 before establishing a commanding four shot lead over defending champion YE Yang heading into the final round after carding a bogey-free course record equalling eight-under-par 63 on Saturday.

“I’m happy with the way I have played on the PGA Tour, but I have never shot low enough to win,” he said.

Fowler had already followed up his breakthrough season in 2010 with four top-10 finishes this year, including fifth at The Open and runner-up finish at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

McIlroy, meanwhile, followed up his second place finish at last week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after also posting back-to-back third placed finishes in his previous two events.

“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,” said McIlroy, who dropped six shots in eight holes around the turn on Saturday after opening rounds of 68 and 69.

Korea’s Republic’s Kim-Meen-whee closed with a level par final round to claim third place ahead of Yang after the 2009 PGA Championship winner could only manage a 75 to slip to fourth.

Australia’s Andre Stolz, meanwhile, strengthened his position at the top of the OneAsia Order of Merit with just two events remaining after finishing 10th alongside Kim-Dae-hyun and amateur Kim Soo-min.

Previous articleYang joins Coolum crowd
Next articleWant to golf with a Daddo?
Brian is an award winning golf writer and is the founder and editor of Australian Senior Golfer. He is a former Sydney journalist who had little interest in golf till he hit his first ball at the age of 49 (and a half). Since then golf has just about overtaken his life. Brian founded ASG in April 2008 and has since covered every Australian Open, Presidents Cups, World Cups and numerous other big men’s and women’s tournaments, spending days inside the ropes with the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Greg Norman, Adam Scott, Jason Day, Karrie Webb, and many others. He has also played in, and reported on, numerous amateur tournaments, particularly senior and veteran events, around the country. Brian is a member of the Australian Golf Media Association and won the award for Best News Report for 2016 - 2017

Leave a Reply