Peter Uihlein Prepares For The Masters

Two-time All-American Oklahoma State golfer, Georgia Cup winner and current United States Amateur Golf champion Peter Uihlein will walk the hallowed fairways of the Augusta National Golf Club this week while competing in the prestigious Masters, the first major championship of the golf season. It is Uihlein's win in the U.S. Amateur that punched his ticket for The Masters.

Uihlein stayed behind as his OSU golf teammates traveled to Augusta early to play in Augusta State University's tournament. His teammates will catch up with him when they come out to watch the Monday practice round at The Masters.

We caught up with Uihlein for a conversation.

GP: How excited are you?
Uihlein: I am very excited and I think anytime that you can play in The Masters as an amateur it is pretty special, and to be there as the (U.S.) Amateur champion makes it even more special. I am looking forward to representing myself, the University, and my family, and I'm looking forward to having a good week.

GP: You have to know that you have a lot of followers and when you were playing in the PGA event (The Transitions) a couple of weeks ago in Florida I'm sure Oklahoma State fans followed the leaderboard a lot closer than they normally do, although with all the Cowboys on the tour we know they follow it pretty well. After Friday you look at the names of the pros going home (missing the cut), you made it and that was pretty impressive.
Uihlein: Yeah, I appreciate that. The Transitions, I was obviously fortunate that they were nice enough to extend me an invitation and they usually have a really good field, so I was happy to play well there the first two rounds and stay for the weekend and it showed me what I needed to work on for The Masters. Hopefully, it will help me have a pretty good week.

GP: What were the most important things that you picked up from that tournament?
Uihlein: That my game is pretty good and good enough to compete at that level. That I need to fine tune some things and just keep a level head and that I can be successful.

GP: Golf is a gentleman's game, but the PGA Tour is a dog eat dog world. Each of those players are like mini corporations that are not only out to feed their familiy but also the families of their support group. It is a very serious deal. What was your exchange like with the pro golfers and what did you learn about relationships on the tour?
Uihlein: I was really careful when I was out playing, like I didn't want to walk through any lines. I know my caddie and I paid a lot of attention to that and not do anything wrong in that regard. For those guys, obviously that is their living and they have to play well to put food on the table, I guess. That is one of those things that is their job each day. I was a college kid out there trying to have a little fun.

GP: You earned this opportunity by winning the U.S. Amateur, but at the same time you are an Oklahoma State golfer and have to balance that. You are a member of that team striving to win the Big 12 and the NCAA Championship, which this season will be held at Karsten Creek here in Stillwater. Everyone I have talked with says you are humble and you handle and balance your success well.
Uihlein: I appreciate that. I have been fortunate in that I am on a team with 14 other guys and they are my best friends. I wouldn't be very successful without them. They have pushed me to become better, and hopefully I have pushed them to become better. I'm fortunate enough to be around a good support system with all the coaches and the academic staff. It is a really good situation here. I love being here, and I have said if they would give me more years than just four (of eligibility) then I would come back for a fifth or sixth (year). I love it here.

GP: That bag really identifies you. [Editor's note: Uihlein's father had a custom bag made that is black and has Oklahoma State plastered all over it. A Pistol Pete logo is on the bottom and visible when it is being carried.] That is pretty nice.
Uihlein: I appreciate that. It is a sweet bag and I am definitely looking forward to using it.

GP: The dream would be to win The Masters as an amateur, but have you set a realistic goal for the tournament?
Uihlein: I think making the cut and being the low amateur would be pretty realistic. You know, I feel my game is pretty good and I feel like I can play pretty well. A side note is that I am there as the Amateur champion and I am playing there as an amateur and I want to enjoy it and have fun.

GP: The low amateur does the first interview after the tournament on Sunday in Butler Cabin with Jim Nantz on CBS. That could be you.
Uihlein: And I will be wearing a lot of orange and black. I would like to show it off a little.

GP: You have a new teammate on the golf team and he respects you all and your games. As big a sports fans as you golfers are it has to be a kick having Brandon Weeden on the team.
Uihlein: It's been cool. I think it gets our street cred up a little bit having the quarterback on the team. He is a good guy and he had a great season last year and we are all happy for him. You know he is such a good guy and is very mature and a guy you can look up to. He is a good person and has his head on straight. He handles things very well and we are definitely excited to have him here and excited about next football season.

GP: I could see a Peter Uihlein/Brandon Weeden Pro-Am Golf Tournament for charity some day.
Uihlein: Definitely, anytime you can give back to a sport like golf or football that is great. I wish Weeden a lot of success in football. That's a good idea.

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