American golfer Rickie Fowler's star just got a little brighter. The 26-year-old, who was recently named "the most overrated player" by his colleagues in a Sports Illustrated poll, responded in the only way he knows how.
Fowler produced one of the greatest comebacks in the 34-year history at TPC Sawgrass—making up a five-shot deficit with just six holes in regulation to force a playoff and eventually win the Players Championship on Sunday.
"Having the trophy at my side last night answers any questions, if there were any," Fowler told CNBC's "Squawk Box" Monday. "I was really just thinking that if I could birdie the last four holes I could give myself a chance, and I was able to one-up myself."
He birdied 15, 17 and 18. He eagled 16.
In a late charge, Fowler shot a final round of 67 to finish 12 under for the tournament, sending him into a three-hole aggregate playoff with Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner.
Garcia was eliminated after the three holes, but it took one more to beat Kisner. Fowler birdied the 137-yard, par-3 17th for the third time to seal the victory.
"I've always played 17 well and I played it well this week," he said. "To me, the drive on 18 is the hardest shot on the golf course, but I drove it well there, which was big to my success all week."
Fowler earned $1.8 million for his win—part of the $10 million purse at the Players, the richest in golf.
Golf's rising superstar was recently ranked as the second-most marketable golfer behind Rory McIlroy by Sports Business Journal, and has an 88 percent likability rating, according to sports intelligence firm Repucom.
His win at the unofficial "fifth major" tournament will likely quiet critics for now.
"Being out front, you are in control," Fowler said. "Coming from behind you have to make something happen. I haven't been out front to take care of business that way, but I'm looking forward to that."
Fowler heads into next month's second major golf tournament of the year, the U.S. Open, in search of his first major victory.
Last year, he finished all four majors, which also include the Masters, the British Open and the PGA Championship, in the top five.