Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Golf

Peter Uihlein fine on other side of Atlantic

PALM HARBOR — Peter Uihlein is part of a wave of young professionals expected to take the PGA Tour by storm. Uihlein, 24, is a graduate of IMG's golf academy in Bradenton and was named the top college golfer in the country as a junior at Oklahoma State.

He won the 2010 U.S. Amateur Championship, was a member of the 2009 Walker Cup team and won the 2009 New Year's Invitational at St. Petersburg Country Club.

As talented as Uihlein is, his long-term goal is not to play full time on the PGA Tour. He is a member of the European Tour, and he doesn't plan to change that any time soon.

"I like it in Europe," Uihlein said. "Ideally I would play on both tours. Right now I'm only focused on playing in Europe. It's a lot of fun and so far I'm playing well."

Uihlein spent 2012 on the Challenge Tour, a second-tier circuit in Europe. He won the Madeira Islands Open last season and earned full status on this year's European Tour. In five events, he has one top-10 finish.

He is in the Valspar Championship thanks to a sponsor's exemption. The goal this year is to play well enough to earn special temporary membership on the PGA Tour.

This is the third time Uihlein has played in the tournament at Innisbrook. He missed the cut last year and tied for 57th in 2011.

"I like coming back here," Uihlein said. "I think it's a great golf course. It's one of the best we play all year.

"My focus this week is to have fun and enjoy it. This game's hard enough. You don't want to put pressure on yourself because it's only going to make you collapse."

Uihlein said he plans on staying in the United States until after the Masters, though he is not yet qualified to play in it. He shares an apartment in Palm Beach Gardens with fellow European Tour member and former Florida State golfer Brooks Koepka.

Old guys rule: There is no shortage of experienced players at the Valspar. Taking them lightly would be a mistake.

Of the 12 players in the field who are 45 or older, three have won this tournament: Mark Calcavecchia (53), Vijay Singh (51) and Retief Goosen (45). Ken Duke, 45, tied for fifth in 2012.

Add in Davis Love III, 49, and David Toms, 47, who are dangerous in any tournament.

The six others 45 and over: Tampa native Woody Austin (50), Stephen Ames (49), Paul Goydos (49), John Daly (47), Jerry Kelly (47) and Darren Clarke (45). While they haven't won in a while, Daly and Clarke are former major championship winners.

Today: The pro-am begins at 7:40 a.m. The second wave of tee times start at 12:30 p.m. and Golf Channel will air coverage from 5-6. Some of the pros playing in the morning include Daly, Luke Donald, Jim Furyk and Boo Weekley. Some of the afternoon pros include Love, Ernie Els, Stewart Cink and Jason Dufner.

Comments
Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

Patton Kizzire beats James Hahn in marathon Sony Open playoff

HONOLULU — A day after a false alarm caused some panic at the Sony Open, there was more drama — of a much more benign sort.Patton Kizzire made par on the tournament-record sixth playoff hole Sunday to beat James Hahn and win his second PGA Tour title...
Published: 01/14/18
False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

False alarm on missile launch triggers anxiety at PGA Tour event in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Charles Howell was eating breakfast in his hotel when the restaurant at the Kahala started buzzing. Everyone had their phones. Everyone received the same push alert. "BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS...
Published: 01/13/18
Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

Brian Harman extends good play in Hawaii, takes Sony Open lead

HONOLULU — Different islands, vastly different golf courses, same good play from Brian Harman. One week after Harman shared the 36-hole lead at Kapalua, he ran off three straight birdies and closed with a 15-foot eagle putt for 7-under 63 and a three...
Published: 01/12/18
Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

Chris Kirk, Zach Johnson share lead at PGA’s Sony Open in Hawaii

HONOLULU — Zach Johnson and Chris Kirk kept clean cards on a gorgeous day and each shot 7-under 63 Thursday to share the lead after the first round of the Sony Open. Jordan Spieth wasn’t as fortunate. Spieth hit four trees with four shots on the par-...
Published: 01/11/18
Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

Dustin Johnson romps to 8-shot victory in Hawaii

KAPALUA, Hawaii — A new year brought out the best in Dustin Johnson, who powered his way to 8-under 65 and an eight-shot victory Sunday in the Tournament of Champions. In a field that featured the top-five players in the world, Johnson made a strong ...
Published: 01/07/18
Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

Missouri senior uses playoff birdie to win New Year’s Invitational in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Cold and windy conditions didn’t affect Hayden Buckley last year when he won the New Year’s Invitational, and they didn’t affect him again this year in the 92nd edition of the event.The University of Missouri senior repeated as champ...
Published: 01/07/18

Dustin Johnson surges into lead at Tournament of Champions

KAPALUA, Hawaii — Dustin Johnson holed out with a wedge for eagle, made birdie on every par 5 and powered his way to 7-under 66 to build a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Tournament of Champions. Coming off his lone bogey from a poor ...
Published: 01/06/18
Tiger Woods’ return includes Torrey Pines, Rivera

Tiger Woods’ return includes Torrey Pines, Rivera

Tiger Woods is playing twice in California over the next six weeks as he begins another comeback on the PGA Tour from back surgery. Woods announced Thursday that he will play the Farmers Insurance Open on Jan. 25 at Torrey Pines, the San Diego course...
Published: 01/04/18