ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Peter Uihlein is not your typical American abroad. In fact, he’s not even your typical American touring professional.
While most young American players bolt college and make a beeline for the PGA Tour – or, failing that, whatever secondary circuit they can find – Uihlein went a dramatically different route when he left Oklahoma State, taking his talents to the European Tour.
He joined the European circuit in 2013, promptly won (Madeira Island Open) and hasn’t looked back. Even the recent success on the PGA Tour from the likes of Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka, who Uihlein shared an apartment with his first few years as a professional, hasn’t tempted him to ply his trade a little closer to home.
“I’m happy for all of them, but I’m playing golf because I like it. Obviously, I want to be the best player in the world, but I understand this is a process,” he said on Monday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship where he will be making his 2016 debut.
“I just played with Ernie [Els] and he said he came out here in ’83. What else would you want? I love what I do, I love to travel. I get excited being in Dubai and Asia and Australia. There’s nothing cooler than that.”
Uihlein estimated he played in 20 different countries in 2015, including a few cameos on the PGA Tour at the Puerto Rico Open, Travelers Championship and Greenbrier Classic.
Even though he maintains his residence in South Florida, Uihlein said he will continue to focus on the European Tour and a schedule that is truly global.
“There is no extra motivation to go back [to the U.S. tour] any time soon to be honest with you,” he said.