Peter Uihlein has accepted a sponsor exemption to the Puerto Rico Open, tournament chairman Sidney Wolf told Golfweek on Tuesday. The event, scheduled for March 8-11, is the first PGA Tour stop to announce that it has invited the former U.S. Amateur champion.
Uihlein, who turned pro in December, is scheduled to make his pro debut at the European Challenge Tour’s Gujarat Kensville Challenge on Jan. 26-29 in Ahmedabad, India. He intends to focus on the European and Challenge tours during his first pro season.
Emiliano Grillo, a 19-year-old pro from Argentina, also has accepted a sponsor exemption into the Puerto Rico Open, Wolf said. Grillo earned his European Tour card at the recent Q-School and finished 10th at last week’s Africa Open, his debut on the circuit.
The Puerto Rico Open is held opposite the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral.
“The Puerto Rico Open for the past four years has given opportunities to up-and-coming players who don’t normally receive consideration,” Wolf told Golfweek. “We also have focused on Latinos and Spaniards since they sometimes don’t get the same opportunities. To our satisfaction, several of our exemptions have gone on to win on both the PGA and European tours.”
Uihlein, the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion, played in five PGA Tour events last year, making the cut in three. He finished 57th at the Transitions Championship, 70th at AT&T National and 48th at the Open Championship. He missed the cut at the Masters and U.S. Open. He also tied for ninth at last year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational on the Nationwide Tour.
Wolf previously offered a sponsor exemption to Yani Tseng, the No. 1 women’s player in the world, after she expressed interest in competing against the men. Tseng’s camp did not accept the invitation, but has not ruled out her playing against men at a later date.