Peter Uihlein shot a first-round 63 Thursday to lead the European Challenge Tour’s Kazakhstan Open by two shots. A good week here could help the 2010 U.S. Amateur champion earn a European Tour card for next season.
Uihlein entered the week at No. 30 on the Challenge Tour’s Order of Merit with €39,605. The top 20 at season’s end earn European Tour cards. The Kazakhstan Open, at Zhailijau Golf Resort in Almaty, features a 400,000-euro purse, one of the tour’s largest and more than double the tour’s standard purse. There are six events remaining on the Challenge Tour after this week.
Uihlein struggled after turning pro in January, but has found good form on the Challenge Tour, the European Tour’s version of the Web.com Tour. He’s finished in the top-12 in six consecutive events.
Uihlein’s round Thursday featured eight birdies, one bogey and an eagle on the 341-yard, par-4 eighth hole, his second-to-last hole of the day. Uihlein, who teed off on No. 10, shot 6-under 30 on his final nine holes.