• Wells Fargo Championship, Round Four

McIlroy takes No. 1 ranking as Fowler wins

ESPN staff
May 6, 2012
Rory McIlroy finished 14 under through 72 holes at Quail Hollow © PA Photos


Rory McIlroy returned to the world No. 1 ranking at the Wells Fargo Championship on Sunday, but he was unable to claim the title, as Rickie Fowler won for the first time on the PGA Tour.

McIlroy needed to finish in the top seven to get himself back on top of the world by leapfrogging Luke Donald, and he achieved that by completing the tournament at 14 under, the same score as American duo DA Points and Fowler, who triumphed at the first play-off hole, the 18th, with a birdie.

The Ulsterman's putting let him down throughout the regulation play on Sunday: he missed four par putts inside ten feet, all of which were very makeable and all of which would have given him a second Wells Fargo title in three years.

McIlroy, who holds the course record of 62 at Quail Hollow, signed for a 70 that contained six birdies, the best of which came at two, when he drained a 20-footer. But despite that early success, he never looked particularly confident on the greens - a source of concern ahead of his US Open defence next month.

Lee Westwood tied the front nine record of 30 as he surged to 11 under with a 66 that, while too late to challenge, bodes well for his chances at next week's Players Championship at Sawgrass.

England's Brian Davis finished at nine under, three shots better off than Scotland's Martin Laird and Phil Mickelson, who will be inducted into golf's Hall of Fame on Monday.

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