Cheonan: American Rickie Fowler won his first professional golf title with a six-stroke victory over US Open champion Rory McIlroy in the Korea Open in Cheonan on Sunday.   

The long-haired Californian, one of golf's most exciting young prospects, carded a three-under-par 68 in the final round at the Woo Jeong Hills Country Club for a four-day total of 16-under 268.   

"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," the 22-year-old Fowler told reporters.   

World number three McIlroy, tied for fourth overnight, clinched second spot with a superb closing round of seven-under 64, ahead of South Korea's Kim Meen-whee and compatriot Y.E. Yang, third and fourth respectively.   

"It feels great to have the first win," said Fowler. "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."   

Fowler never slipped from the top of the leaderboard over the four days and said his consistency was the main factor behind his first title.   

"I'm happy with the way I have played on the PGA Tour, but I have never shot low enough to win," he added. "This week I played well for four rounds which I have not been able to do in the past."   

Winning a title on the PGA Tour and a place in the Ryder Cup team would top his agenda for next year, he said.   

"I am looking forward to some time off and then I can look at everything and set some goals for next year. I will play mainly on the PGA Tour next year and I would like to get my first win there, and this win will definitely help me achieve that.   

"I also haven't made the Tour Championship in the last two years, so that is another goal for next year. But the biggest goal is to make sure I make the Ryder Cup team."   

Northern Irishman McIlroy said he had been happy with his finish but added: "All the damage was done during the third round with a couple of bad holes in the middle of the round.   

"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."

(Agencies)