Connect with us

Golf

5 Thoughts On Peter Uihlein Turning Pro

Published

on

Photo Attribution: Icon SMI

Peter Uihlein turned pro on Monday, much to the surprise of OSU fans and much to the chagrin of those who predicted OSU would make match play of the NCAA tourney for an unprecedented 4th straight year. It was a move that, while unexpected, is altogether not unwarranted.

Uihlein, for the better part of two years, has been, give or take, one of the five best amateur golfers on the planet. While in Stillwater he accumulated the Ben Hogan award, a U.S. Amateur title, and enough All-American nods to make Justin Blackmon jealous. At many schools this would be unprecedented, at OSU, meh, it’s kind of expected.

And now he’s taking his talents across the Atlantic. This Golf Digest post suggests that Uihlein will compete in 2012 to earn his European Tour card (in lieu of his PGA Tour card), a move punctuated by signing with the famed Euro-agent, Chubby Chandler.

It’s a pretty bold move from an American like Uihlein, but one that I like a lot. Here are five other thoughts I have about him turning pro.

1. I like the European move because it’s a tour that’s slightly less difficult (though it’s come on strong in the last decade) than the PGA Tour. It’ll give Uihlein some time to gain the confidence and swagger necessary to win majors and slide between the PGA and the European Tours seamlessly.

2. This is something that I feel like very few newly-minted pros would try their hand at for a few reasons. First, even among the popped collar country club folk that often crawl U.S. golf courses, college golf isn’t teeming with kids who have a deep enough backing to try this. Uihlein does and money will never be something that holds him back. Second, very few kids his age are well-connected enough or well-traveled enough to feel comfortable doing something like this. He is both, and having a pops who is even more so will only enhance his journey.

3. I’m impressed by people who are born with nothing and turn rags to riches in the form of sport or some other art (see: Rose, Jalen and/or Ramirez, Manny). I’m more impressed by people who are born with everything yet still find the everyday grind of producing art worthy of their life’s calling. People think of untold resources as a benefit when, in reality, it can spread you thin. Uihlein hasn’t let it.

4. Whatever he does in professional golf, whether he wins six majors or follows that harrowing footsteps of Ty Tryon, I will always remember this as one of the more impressive things I’ve ever heard of from a college athlete.

5. I don’t think I’ve ever told this story on PFB, but it’s a pretty good one. In April of this year on Friday at the Masters, my wife and I were trailing Uihlein and Mickelson on the back 9 to see if Peter could make the cut. Well that’s why I was watching, my wife probably had other motives. Anyway, I ran into Peter’s dad, Wally and he told me the story of Uhilein’s recruitment to Oklahoma State.

He said that Mike Holder had met with Peter (I believe they had all gone out to dinner). At the time Uihlein was looking at going to Clemson, Florida, Alabama, and OSU. They then had something along the lines of the following conversation:

Holder: “If you go play golf at Florida, what’s the #1 sport going to be at that school?”

Uihlein: “Football.”

Holder: “Right, and if you go play golf at Clemson, what’s the #1 sport going to be at that school?”

Uihlein: “Football.”

Holder: “Correct, and if you go play golf at Alabama, what’s the #1 sport going to be at that school?”

Uihlein: “Football.”

Holder: “Yep, but if you come play golf at Oklahoma State where we have Karsten Creek and all the national championships and all the Tour players you’ve grown up watching, well, what’s the #1 sport going to be at our school?”

Uihlein: “Wrestling.”

Holder [looks at Uihlein’s dad]: “He’s the first sonofa—– to ever answer that correctly.”

And the rest, as they say, is history…

Most Read