Fowler earns first winner’s check at pro-am

Rickie Fowler during PGA Tour Q-School.

Rickie Fowler has found plenty of success in his young pro career. Now he can cash his first winner’s check. Fowler paired with former high-school teammate Josh Anderson to win the Plantation Winter Classic, a scratch pro-am best ball tournament, on Friday and Saturday.

Fowler and Anderson, a redshirt sophomore at Pepperdine, shot 64-66 at Plantation Golf Club in Indio, Calif., to win by a stroke over former PGA Tour winner and U.S. Amateur champ Sam Randolph and former U.S. Mid-Am champ Kevin Marsh (65-66). Fowler’s team earned $1,500 for the win.

Anderson and Fowler played together at Murrieta Valley High School in Murrieta, Calif. Anderson is the ’07 California Amateur champ and qualified for the PGA Tour’s Buick Invitational last year, where he missed the cut by a shot.

Fowler, 21, will be viewed as one of the PGA Tour’s promising young players when his rookie season begins in a couple weeks. The 21-year-old turned pro after the Walker Cup in September, made almost $600,00 in three PGA Tour starts, and recently earned his PGA Tour card at Q-School.

Randolph, 45, was in a similar position about 25 years ago. In ’85, he won the Haskins Award as college golf’s player of the year and the U.S. Amateur, and was low amateur at the Masters (T-18). He was low amateur at the Masters (T-36) and U.S. Open (T-35) in ’86, then made it through Q-School later that year.

Randolph won the PGA Tour’s Bank of Boston Classic in ’87, but it would be his only PGA Tour victory. He spent much of his career bouncing between the PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour. He’s played just three Nationwide events in the past three years.

Cameron Tringale, who’ll be a PGA Tour rookie in ’10, and teammate Carl Smith tied for eighth at 138. Kevin Chappell, the 2008 NCAA individual champ, and amateur Brandon Christianson finished 13th at 3-under 141. Chappell and Christianson were teammates on UCLA’s ’08 national championship team.

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