BOLTON, Mass – When Peter Uihlein tees off Friday in the LIV Invitational Boston event at The International in Bolton, he’ll play in a professional golf tournament in his home state of Massachusetts for only the second time.
Obviously, he’s looking forward to it.
In the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, Uihlein tied for 12th in the opening event of the FedExCup playoffs to earn the right to advance to the second round.
“It was the first time in my whole career,” he said after playing 14 holes and spending one hour on the driving range at The International, “where people were actually rooting me on. It was nice to have that.”
Uihlein was born in New Bedford and he grew up in Mattapoisett. He hopes to have the same enthusiastic fan support at the International that he experienced at TPC Boston.
In 2018, he commuted to TPC Boston from his family’s home. His father, Wally Uihlein, used to be CEO of the Acushnet Company, the golf equipment and apparel brand headquartered in Fairhaven.
The leaderboard for the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship was filled with golfers who left the PGA Tour this year to play on the LIV Golf series. Bryson DeChambeau placed first at TPC Boston in 2018, Cameron Smith finished third, Dustin Johnson, Abraham Ancer and Bubba Watson shared seventh and Phil Mickelson and Brooks Koepka joined Uihlein in a group that tied for 12th. All of the aforementioned golfers will tee off at The International on Friday except for Watson who is nursing a knee injury, but will be on hand. Smith will make his LIV debut.
A total of 48 golfers will take part in a 1 p.m. shotgun start in the fourth of the eight events in the inaugural LIV Golf season. The tournament will consist of 54 holes with no cut.
LIV Golf has drawn criticism because it’s financed by Saudi Arabia, but that controversy hasn’t prevented several high-profile PGA Tour golfers from accepting lucrative guaranteed money up front to join the new league.
Peter Uilhein isn’t one of those big-name golfers, but he’s happy to be playing on the LIV Golf series and he’ll do his best to pocket the first-place check of $4 million from the $25 million purse.
“I think it’s great,” he said. “You’ve got to remember it’s a business start up and they’re operating at about 50 percent of what they want it to become. There’s going to be some nooks and crannies that are going to come up and you just deal with it. So far, they’ve been really, really approachable, great with the players and asking our input.”
Music blares during LIV Golf events and Uihlein said LIV Golf is going after a different fan base than the “khaki pants, blazer kind of crew” that follows the PGA Tour.
LIV Golf also has a team competition that Uilhein expects will take time to catch on. He will play for Smash GC with Brooks and Chase Koepka and Jason Kokrak. The winning team will split $3 million.
Uihlein, who turned 33 on Monday, moved to Florida at age 14 to attend a golf academy. He played golf at Oklahoma State and finished second in the NCAA Division 1 championships. On his 21st birthday, he won the 2010 U.S. Amateur and in 2011, just prior to turning pro, he won the Northeast Amateur at Wannamoisett CC in Rhode Island.
At the inaugural LIV Golf event in London, Uihlein finished fourth in individual points while captaining Crushers GC to a second-place finish. He pocketed a check for $1.5 million.
Uihlein has posted four pro victories, two on the Korn Ferry Tour and one each on the European Tour and the Challenge Tour in Europe. His top finish on the PGA Tour was third in the 2021 Zurich Classic of New Orleans, a team event he played with Richy Werenski of South Hadley.
On the web: LIV Golf Boston