CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Five months separate 23-year-olds Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler in age. Sunday at Quail Hollow, only one stroke separated them by day’s end.
Fowler won his first PGA Tour event since turning professional in 2009 in a style equally as outrageous as his outfits. Fowler beat McIlroy and D.A. Points in the first extra hole of a sudden-death playoff when he knocked his approach to 4 feet and rolled it in for birdie and the win.
While it was hard to decide which of the two Generation Now-ers to root for on Sunday, they’ve both landed on this week’s best-dressed list for separate yet equally valid reasons.
Rickie Fowler: Fowler began the final round at Quail Hollow three shots off the lead but played with the wisdom, grace and patience of a seasoned pro. Fowler has received incessant flack for having never won a PGA Tour event, but we forget the kid is only 23. He won in Charlotte because of his guts, and those guts ultimately gave him the glory. Glad to see Rickie finally make it to the winner’s circle; he certainly wears a Tour title well.
Rory McIlroy: Rory had all the right ingredients for a repeat win at the Wells Fargo, but ultimately fell short. He’s the most accomplished 23-year-old in the field and accepted this defeat with poise and praise for Fowler.
“It was great to see, especially the way he played that playoff hole,” McIlroy said. “He played to win. He deserved it after that birdie.”
Many more triumphs lay ahead for these young guns and if we’re lucky, many more Sunday showdowns as well.