It was chilly Sunday morning when I walked up to the driving range at Chambers Bay for the final round of the US Amateur. Peter Uihlein was warming up and his dad was sitting on a bench watching. We were the first three folks there. David Chung was over on the putting/pitching range and had not showed up yet. A few minutes later Peter’s mom showed up and talked about the possibility that she might need some warmer clothes before we started.
As I watched Peter I tried to think what it must feel like to be warming up for a chance at winning your first major. Is it hard to calm yourself? To stay focused? Is your stomach tight? What do you do to maintain your concentration? There’s a reason I’m a Venture Capitalist and not a professional golfer. Besides not having anywhere near that level of talent I’ve also known for years that I would have had to be wired in a completely different way. But I did appreciate that his dad was sitting away giving him the mental space he probably needed. The next thing I noticed was the Oklahoma State University colors that Peter was sporting. Somehow it reminded me of the all orange OSU outfit that Rickie Fowler sported a couple weeks ago.
Then David showed up. It was just a terrific moment. Two friends knowing what was at stake embraced hello. No cold shoulder Tiger Woods attitude here. Just two kids playing for a national championship. Out of the over 6,000 golfers who tried to qualify for the US Amateur, it came down to these two friends. History in the balance. No biggie.
After the warm up was done everyone traveled to the first tee. After Peter hit the ball I ran into his mom. We started chatting about Twitter and she mentioned that Rickie Fowler was nice enough to tweet his support for Peter and she wanted to thank Rickie for reaching out and cheering for Peter.
So thanks, Rickie, from Peter’s mom. Just passing it on.
Just in case you missed the OSU Belt Bucket when Peter was teeing up, he was flying the school colors on his bag, too.