Date: November 21, 2015
Author: Bernie McGuire

Uihlein motivated by Spieth heroics

Watching TV coverage of Jordan Spieth capture last year’s Australian Open has inspired Peter Uihlein to join his fellow American to tee-up at The Australian Club.

Uihlein will be making his debut in Australia’s premier event and also on a very first visit to Sydney.

However the 26-year is no stranger to competing ‘Down Under’ having shared ninth place late last year in the ISPS Handa Perth International at Lake Karrinyup in Perth.

But it was a year ago and sitting at home in Lake Nona, Florida watching Speith post a final round 63 that has the former US Amateur and Madeira Islands Open winner got the inspiration to want to compete in the ‘Premier State’.

“I just loved playing Lake Karrinyup, so much so the McKenzie designed course is now one of my favourites,” said Uihlein.

“But I remember watching Jordan last year and I thought to myself ‘man’ the Australian Club course looks just great and it would be fun to play in the tournament.

“Of course, Australia is a long way away from home for me but playing my first Australian Open is going to be cool and while I’ve got a corporate day here in Dubai on Monday, I should be there in time for Wednesday’s Pro-Am.

“I just loved being in Perth so much and I’ve seen so much of Sydney on TV that it’s going to be great heading down there.

“And I was not only impressed with how Jordan won the Australian Open last year but also seeing what Rory (McIlroy) did a year earlier and how victory for both then led to so much success for the pair of them.

“So I’m just excited to be checking out Sydney and also catching up with so many guys I know who will also be competing like Scotty (Adam Scott) while Darren (Clarke) and Lee (Westwood), who are also ISM clients, and are also playing in the tournament.”

And while Uihlein has competed just once before in Australia he’s also no stranger to travelling and to also playing well outside of his native America.

His 2015 European Tour season has been highlighted by four top-10s including fourth in the Shenzhen International in China, eighth a week later in the Volvo China Open, ninth in the Paul Lawrie Match-Play in Scotland and more recently sixth in the Turkish Airlines Open.

“The good thing for me is that if I look at guys like Jordan, Rory, (Henrik) Stenson and Rosie (Justin Rose) they are global players, and they compete around the world, and they’ve become all-round great players,” said Uihlein.

“Of course, they’re all-round great players when they compete in America but you look at what they have achieved in their careers and they’ve won tournaments outside of the U.S.

“At the end of the day I am still a young player but from a whole standpoint I feel as though I will grow not only as a golfer but as a person competing around the globe.

And it will be a first in the week following the Australian Open as Uihlein will be heading north to compete in the co-sanctioned Australian PGA Championship at the Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast.