In May 2012, Fowler won the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte on the first extra hole of a sudden-death playoff. Replaying the 18th hole, he defeated Rory McIlroy and D. A. Points with a birdie to gain his first PGA Tour win. Fowler shot a 69 (−3) in the final round to finish in a three-way tie after 72 holes at Quail Hollow Club. This win enabled Fowler to break the top-25 in the world, placing him at number 24. The following week at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Fowler played the final hole at −11 under par and had a birdie opportunity to bring him within one of leader and eventual winner Matt Kuchar. Fowler, however, pushed his putt to the right and finished in a tie for second, the fifth second-place finish of his career.
The Open Championship: Enjoyed his best finish among seven major championship starts, with a T5 at The Open Championship at Royal St. George's. Opened with three par-or-better rounds to enter the final round three strokes behind Darren Clarke. Closed with a 2-over 72 in windy conditions to finish tied with fellow Americans Chad Campbell and Anthony Kim.
Lowry elected to turn professional the week after his Irish Open triumph, meaning that he would miss out on the opportunity to play in the Walker Cup in September 2009. He made his professional début on 28 May at the European Open, where he shot 78 in the first round to end the opening day almost at the back of the field, and went on to miss the cut following a second round 73.