Days after being labelled “overrated” by his fellow players in a controversial magazine feature, Fowler broke the tournament record by playing the last four holes in five under par to earn a place in a three-hole play-off with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner.
Fowler and Kisner birdied the 17th hole for the second time in less than an hour after all three parred the 16th, and Garcia was eliminated after failing to make a 20-foot putt for a three at 18.
Fowler then struck a delightful wedge to four feet as the play-off went to sudden death back at the iconic 17th and, after Kisner came up short with his birdie putt, he calmly knocked in the putt to win the PGA Tour’s flagship event – his first win since winning the 2012 Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow.
It was the perfect response to being voted the most overrated player on tour along with Ian Poulter in an anonymous survey of their fellow professionals conducted by Sports Illustrated.
“It’s amazing,” Fowler told Sky Sports 4. “We obviously look at this as one of??the biggest tournaments we play, up against the majors.
“This is a special week, everyone looks forward to it and I was just happy??that I had a chance after my finish this afternoon to get into the play-off and??to be here on 17 and get it done.
“I played well last week (in the WGC-Cadillac Match Play) and ended up losing??on Saturday in the last 16. I felt like my game was where I wanted it.
“Unfortunately I did not play as well as I wanted to on Saturday here but we??finished it off strong and proved to myself we’re back where I should be.”
Poulter tweeted a message of congratulations to Fowler which aimed a sly dig at the Sports Illustrated article. He wrote: “Totally overrated finish from @RickieFowlerPGA …??Nice playing mate. Impressive.”