What they said: Peter UihleinMarch 16, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Transitions Championship transcript archive
COLIN MURRAY: We'll go ahead and get started. We have got 2010 U.S. Amateur Champion Peter Uihlein playing here on a sponsor's exemption here this week at the Transitions Championship.
Thanks for joining us, Peter. If you can give us some opening thoughts on being here in Tampa this week and playing the Transitions Championship, that would be great.
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah, obviously I'm happy to get a spot. They are great to extend the invitation to me, and it's kind of a home course. I grew up down in Bradenton, which is only 40 minutes away from here. So to be up here and playing a lot, I know a lot of my friends are going to come out, and it should be pretty cool to play in front of them.
I'm excited to play the Copperhead Course. It's a great track and I'm looking forward to it.
COLIN MURRAY: You were talking that you won a junior tournament on this course a few years ago, and I know you played the golf course yesterday, if you can just talk about playing the Copperhead, that would be great.
PETER UIHLEIN: It's awesome. It's a good golf course. You have to hit a lot of really good shots. I was talking to I played nine holes with Geoff Ogilvy yesterday and he was saying that it's a course that you've really got to golf your ball, and a couple under is a really good score out here.
It's probably different from the 19 , 20 under that these guys are usually shooting. So you know, it's definitely a great course. It's different from when I played; the overseed, it makes it a little bit more lush and greener, so it's pretty neat.
You know, like I said, it's just a great golf course and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Did you play out here a lot as an amateur on the Copperhead??
PETER UIHLEIN: I had two tournaments out here and that was it.
PETER UIHLEIN: AJGA major was out here before it went to Bay Hill in '03 I think.
Q. You could be on spring break, beach, bikinis, beer is it a tough call? You could actually have a week off.
PETER UIHLEIN: This weather is tough to beat, this weather down here. I was in Vegas last week for a college event and now I'm here. That's pretty tough to beat.
Q. You're a junior now; do you have a plan or are you sticking for all four to get the degree??
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah, I'm going to be there for four years. I'm going to finish up. I love it in Stillwater. Surprising, but I do love it out there. I love all of the people and I love the school. So if I can go more, I would. But four years.
Q. Slow down.
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah. (Laughter).
Q. Was there any question when you went to school that you were not going to be there four years??
PETER UIHLEIN: No. That was kind of I had always wanted to go there. That was the place I always wanted to go. I never thought about turning pro early or anything like that. Rickie obviously is pretty special, Fowler; he's the exception. So I think you know, me personally, I feel like I'm doing the right thing, going four years and kind of playing out my career there.
Q. Do you think he would be the No. 1 player if he were still in school??
PETER UIHLEIN: Probably. He's pretty good.
Q. Even your freshman year when you were not playing that much, no second guessing, any of that??
PETER UIHLEIN: No.
Q. Just put your head down and earn it??
PETER UIHLEIN: Just tough it out, work at it every day and try to improve. Life is not really a sprint. It's more of a marathon. That's kind of the thing that I had to focus on most.
Q. No serious talk of skipping college and turning pro??
.b>PETER UIHLEIN: No.
Q. What are your goals
PETER UIHLEIN: Where's your bow tie?
Q. I'm doing an interview. You can't be ribbing me here. You're going to have to deal with guy, too. What's your goal this year outside of obviously playing well here and playing well in the Masters; Walker Cup Team is first and foremost??
PETER UIHLEIN: National Championship for our team. We missed out the last two years, and this year, it's at our home course and that would be even more special. The Hogan Award is up there. I would like to win that. And playing well, obviously here, and April, and some of the majors in the summer would be pretty good. I have a lot going on so looking forward to it.
Q. Is there probably been asked this, like Sam Saunders, same age group of yours; are there pros and cons to being the son of a famous guy in the business??
PETER UIHLEIN: I try not to look at it like that. When I moved down to Bradenton, I kind of was away from my dad for a while. He just let me do my own thing. He let me handle things my way, and he kind of, I won't say he wasn't very hands on. He kind of just let me make my own decisions. There's pros and cons to everything, but the way I view it is he's just my dad and I ask for advice just like any other parents.
Q. So made a conscious decision to do it without him being seemed as meddlesome I guess??
PETER UIHLEIN: Pretty much.
Q. Has it worked out well? I know your mom is still around and she's still down here.
PETER UIHLEIN: I think it's okay. Doing okay I think. Still got to work at it.
Q. What are your goals and expectations this week??
PETER UIHLEIN: You know, this is my first event, TOUR event since '06. I just want to see where I match up and what I need to work on and things like that. I feel like my game is pretty good coming into it, playing okay, and just to try and have some fun and enjoy it and really not have that much expectations.
Q. Have you been to Augusta yet? Have you started preparing for that?
PETER UIHLEIN: I've been there three times. I was there in October, January, and then two weekends ago. It was cool to see all of the grandstands and the signs are out. They are getting ready for it.
Q. Can you assess how you are progressing as far as learning the golf course??
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah, I feel like I got off the tee I'm getting used to it a little bit more. The greens, from what I keep getting told, are never really Augusta speed until the week of.
So you know, kind of limits how much practicing you can do around the greens. But visually off the tee, it's been good. I've been able to work on some things and trying to get some shots there.
Q. Who did you play with the three times you were there??
PETER UIHLEIN: I played, first I played with Jim Davis and my assistant coach, who is going to caddie for me. Jim's, I want to say, the general manager over at Pine Valley now, I believe. He was down there.
Then Danny Yates, played with him. He's a good one. He's a good guy.
Q. State of your game, couple of rough rounds at Southern Highlands??
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah, I played pretty good. Southern is one of those courses where you can hit a lot of good shots, you get rejected. I feel like my game is pretty good and my scores didn't really indicate how well I feel like I played.
Q. When you go back to Stillwater, after these experiences, when you do that, how much do your teammates try to get as much information out of you as possible about these experiences??
PETER UIHLEIN: Not much. I'm still one of the guys. It's the same thing with Fowler when he comes back. We are not really picking his brain. We are just enjoying having him here with us and hanging out. So we don't really pick each other's brains too much. We just enjoy each other's company and things like that.
Q. You're paired with Phil for the Masters. How much are you looking forward to that??
PETER UIHLEIN: That will be fun. Obviously he's a pretty good player. He know what is he's doing around there. But you know, that will be pretty good. I'm looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the crowds and how they react to him because he's obviously one of the fan favorites, so I think that will be pretty sweet.
Q. Do you like the crowds? Are you going to be nervous?
PETER UIHLEIN: I enjoy it. I think I like playing in front of a lot of people. I think it's fun.
Q. If you could fill out a threesome at Augusta, who would you take? You, Phil and who?
PETER UIHLEIN: Fowler. I think anybody obviously in that field would be pretty special. That's pretty school but I'm comfortable with Rickie, or Rory, any of the younger guys would be pretty good.
Q. I know you're just basically still cutting your teeth in this thing, but Chambers Bay, is that going to be a U.S. Open worthy venue? Most of us have not seen it and there were some mixed reviews about how hard it was and staging and presentation.
PETER UIHLEIN: It's going to be hard. There's no question. I think the crowd size will be pretty interesting to see what they do, because I know I think just for an amateur, I think two or three guys broke their ankles. There was a lot of injuries. A lot of sand dunes and guys sliding off of them and they are all in bowls.
So it's really tough to get a lot of people really around everything, so it's all sand based. So it will be interesting to see where they put a lot of the grandstands and things like that.
But I think it's a great track. I think it will be a sweet U.S. Open. For sure it will be kind of like a British Open played over in the States. It will be pretty sweet.
Q. Obviously Erin Hills is very similar to Chambers but doesn't have a lot of the things you're talking about, have you been there and do you know much about it??
PETER UIHLEIN: No, I haven't been there. I have to do a Media Day in either June or July. I've heard one of the caddies, actually, at Augusta, that caddied for me, he caddies up there, as well and was telling me about it and was saying it's a lot like chambers, linksy and things like that. I'm looking forward to heading up there.
Q. Have you decide who had will caddie the Par 3 Contest??
PETER UIHLEIN: No, still up in the air. I think I might just kind of wing it when I get there.
Q. Carry your own??
PETER UIHLEIN: Maybe.
Q. Have you been to Augusta as a spectator??
PETER UIHLEIN: Never been. October when I played was the first time I had ever been there.
Q. And what was the feel, what was your reaction??
PETER UIHLEIN: A lot hillier than the TV gives justice. It's a hilly course. It's amazing. The scenes are pretty awesome. It's unbelievable.
Q. What was the hardest shot you the first time you played it??
PETER UIHLEIN: 10. I didn't realize how hard you have to hook it off that hole.
Q. What did you shoot??
PETER UIHLEIN: I shot first time I think I shot 1 over. This past week, I played even and a couple under, so I did okay.
Q. What's your major??
PETER UIHLEIN: Economics.
Q. Is there any question in your mind once you get out of college that you are going to play golf??
PETER UIHLEIN: Yeah, I'm going to play golf. That's what I'm going to do.
Q. Did you go over to 13 and see where Phil hit that shot from on Sunday??
PETER UIHLEIN: I did.
Q. Did you drop one and hit one??
PETER UIHLEIN: It's an aggressive shot. It's definitely aggressive. (Laughter).
Q. Did you try and hit one??
PETER UIHLEIN: No, I just looked at it. It's an unbelievable shot. There's no question.