Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler claims the biggest win of his career just a month before the US Open at Chambers BayGetty Images

Rickie Fowler responded to being named the PGA Tour's most-overrated player by winning the Players Championship after outlasting Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner in a dramatic play-off at Sawgrass.

Fowler and Englishman Ian Poulter were last week revealed as most over-hyped players on the tour in an anonymous poll of fellow professionals conducted by Sports Illustrated, but the American produced the perfect repost by claiming the biggest tournament win of his career.

The 26-year-old was level on 12-under alongside Garcia and Kisner after 72 holes following four birdies and an eagle on the final six holes, before a play-off ensued between the trio for the $1.8m (£1.16m) winners prize.

A first three-hole aggregate play-off in tournament history on the 16th, 17th and 18th saw Garcia eliminated after playing the three holes in level par, as Fowler and Kisner finish one-under following birdies on 17.

And it was Fowler who held his nerve come the sudden death play-off, producing another birdie on the 17th to spark wild celebrations as the California-born player clinched just his second PGA Tour win in Florida.

"It's amazing," Fowler said. "We obviously look at this tournament as one of the biggest that we play up against the majors. This is a special week.

"I laughed at the poll, but I was always looked at as only having one win on tour, and I always felt that I needed to put myself in position to win more often," he added.

"I look at this event as basically like a major. It has the major feel, obviously one of the best fields we play all year, on a tough golf course.

"This will definitely give me momentum going into the US Open and makes me feel confident about being in this situation and taking care of business."

American duo Ben Martin and Bill Haas were tied for fourth, ahead of Rory Sabbatini and Kevin Na in a tournament often regarded as the fifth major of the golfing calendar.

World number one Rory McIlroy was unable to thrust himself into contention in the fourth round as he carded a 70 to finish tied for eighth on eight-under alongside fellow European Ryder Cup winner Jamie Donaldson, while Poulter finish tied for 30th on four-under.