US Open champion Rory McIlroy added US$81,622 to his bank balance, not including what is believed to be a six figure appearance fee, when he finished six shots behind winner Rickie Fowler in the Kolon Korea Open.
Having blown his chances of a fourth tour victory by shooting 73 to Fowler’s 63 in Saturday’s third round, McIlroy produced a closing seven under 64 to finish solo second on 10 under par.
While he his finiding winning to be a difficult habit to learn, McIlroy is nothing if not consistent. This was his second successive runner up finish, his 12th top-10 and 7th top-5 from 20 events in a season that has brought him his first major.
As for Fowler, it was was his first win as a professional though he will no doubt be reminded that he is still winless on the PGA Tour when he returns to the US with his cheque for US$249,864.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Fowler after his final round 68 left him on 16 under. “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.
“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.”
As for McIlroy, it was too little too late for the 22-year old Co Down man, who admitted that all the damage was done on Saturday, when he dropped six shots in eight holes mid-round.
“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 of a the 73 that left him 10 shots behind Fowler with a round to go.
“Looking back on this week, I will rue my third round, which could have been a lot better. If I had played a little better and shot a few under I might have had a chance, but Rickie has played fantastic this week and he deserves the win.”
McIlroy’s last four finishes now read - third, third, second, second - and he will be closer to world No2 Lee Westwood when the world rankings are updated tomorrow.
Kolon Korea Open, Woo Jeong Hills Country Club, Par 71, 7225 Yards
268 - Rickie Fowler (USA) 67-70-63-68.
274 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 68-69-73-64.
277 - Kim Meen-Whee (KOR) 69-71-66-71.
279 - YE Yang (KOR) 67-70-67-75.
281 - Noh Seung-yul (KOR) 72-69-70-70.
283 - John Huh (USA) 69-73-72-69, Lee Kyoung-hoon (KOR) 74-71-68-70.
284 - Bronson La’Cassie (AUS) 70-67-73-74.
285 - Kim Seung-hyuk (KOR) 72-73-70-70.
287 - Kim Dae-hyun (KOR) 73-71-73-70, Andre Stolz (AUS) 76-71-69-71, Lee Soo-min (am, KOR) 68-73-74-72.