They’ve shared a number of golf experiences already, and two of the youngest players at the Masters have shared a couple more this week at Augusta National Golf Club.
Peter Uihlein and Rickie Fowler, both Oklahoma State Cowboys, are making their Masters debuts, adding another chapter to their friendship and golf careers, which have already intersected on several occasions.
In 2005, Peter was at the pinnacle of junior golf as the Rolex Junior Player of the Year, although Rickie certainly gave him a run for his money. A year later, they competed against each other at Canon Cup. They were teammates in Stillwater during the 2008-09 season, then competed together on the victorious 2009 Walker Cup U.S. Team.
The two reunited on the golf course again this week, as Peter and Rickie played practice rounds together Sunday and Monday before competing with each other Wednesday in the Par 3 Contest.
“I got to play with my two good friends – Peter, one of my best friends, and Nathan, my Walker Cup teammate,” said Rickie, who was the 2010 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year. “It was pretty cool. I got a little practice round in last week, so I wasn't going into the Par 3 Contest blind.”
For Peter, his experience includes a stay in the Crow’s Nest – the traditional living quarters for amateur competitors.
“I think playing in the Masters is obviously pretty special, and to be here as the Amateur champion, it's even more special,” said Peter, who was a two-time Rolex Junior Player of the Year as an AJGA player. “I'm excited. I'm nervous and I'm definitely looking forward to this week.”
The seemingly inseparable duo will part ways Thursday morning, as Rickie drew a grouping with Rory McIlroy and Jason Day on Thursday and Friday, while Peter will play with 2010 Masters champion Phil Mickelson and Geoff Ogilvy.
If the two can repeat their performances from today's Par 3 Contest (they both shot 3-under-par), they’ll likely share one more experience – a weekend at the Masters.
By Chris Richards, AJGA Communications