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It would almost seem preordained that Peter Uihlein would become an impressive golfer when you consider his bloodlines, which include a grandfather who was a golf pro and a father, Wally, who is the CEO of Achushnet, the parent company of such brands as Titleist, Footjoy and Cobra. Still he wasn't one of those kids who grew up with a golf club in his crib, forsaking all other sports.
Uihlein said golf was his summer sport, while the familiar season trappings of basketball, soccer and baseball took up the remaining three months. It wasn't until high school that he took up golf full-time.
"My dad is in the golfing business and my mom played golf when she was younger," said Uihlein. "Plus my mom's father was a golf professional in Maryland for over 30 years so golf has always been in my genes. I was 13 when I wanted to pursue it seriously.
"Growing up in Massachusetts, you couldn't play golf year round, so I was at an extreme disadvantage. I decided to enroll at the IMG/Leadbetter Academy in Florida so I could grow and adapt into becoming a better golfer and try to compete at the highest level."
The move obviously paid major dividends as Uihlein was named the AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year in 2005, then followed that up with successful showings in several major national events.
In 2006 he won the St. Augustine Amateur and finished second in the Terra Cotta Invitational. He followed that up in 2007 with win at the Terra Cotta and runner-up finish at the Sunnehanna Amateur. So far in 2008, he sits near the amateurgolf.com - Bridgestone Golf Player Rankings after a victory at Florida Azalea and fifth place finishes at the New Year's Invitational and the Azalea Invitational.
Most recently, with legendary (second of four generations at Pinehurst) caddy Willie McRae on his bag, he made it to the second round of the U.S. Amateur before falling to Derek Fathauer in 20 holes.
Though he subscribes to the Tiger Woods theory that one can never "arrive" as a golfer, he began to realize his potential when paired with Webb Simpson (one of the top amateurs in the country over the past four years) at the Azalea Invitational. Despite playing what he called a lackluster round, he received a call from the Wake Forest golfer a few days later to compliment him on his play and his bright future.
Uihlein credits his work at the IMG Academy and coach David Whelan for improving his short game as well as tweaking his swing off the tee to create more consistent drives.
As for the future, Uihlein will be joining the already-stacked Oklahoma State golf team next fall.
"I will be going to college for four years no matter what happens," said Uihlein. "My mom (Tina) wants me to go and get my degree so leaving school early is not an option. Were going to have a really good and deep team next year so competition on making the team will be wicked fun. My ultimate goal will be to make the next Walker Cup Team in 2009."