5 Things: Uihlein solid again on Euro Tour

Peter Uihlein
Peter Uihlein ( Getty Images )

Sunday, April 21, 2013

It only took 15 tournaments and five months for the European Tour to hold its first event of the 2013 season on “home” soil. The Spanish Open once heralded the start of the European Tour, but no more. Now Spain’s national championship is lost amid an increasingly growing international schedule.

In fact, the Euro Tour heads back to Asia for the next two events before returning “home.” If indeed it has a place it can call home.

Anyway, here are 5 Things you need to know from the Spanish Open:

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1. UIHLEIN EARNS SECOND TOP-10: Peter Uilein earned his second top-10 finish of the season by finishing T-8. The 2010 U.S. Amateur champion held the 36-hole lead after scores of 70 and 68. However he went 74 and 73 on the weekend. Still, a check for €32,175 follows one for €73,650 for fourth place in the Tshwane Open. The one-time Oklahoma State player has earned €125,379 from five events so far this season.

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2. CASEY'S COMEBACK CONTINUES: Paul Casey continues to play decently on his return to the European Tour. The Englishman never really threatened the lead, but a 16th-place finish is respectable as he tries to regain the form that took him to World No. 3. His game has dipped since suffering a snowboarding accident in January 2012, and the Englishman will play more in Europe this year. He has made all six cuts, with his Spanish effort the best of the season so far. He has won just under €100,000 and lies 81st on the money list.

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3. WILSON CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE: Oliver Wilson is still a long way from finding the form that made him a European Ryder Cup player. The former Augusta State player competed in the 2008 Ryder Cup but is a millions miles away from that standard. Scores of 79 and 81 saw Wilson miss his fourth cut out of four this season as he seeks to regain the Tour card he lost last year. The Englishman holds an 80.50 stroke average so far this season. He’s got a long road back.

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4. LEWIS STILL LOST IN WILDERNESS: Remember when Tom Lewis was being hailed as the next Sir Nick Faldo? Seems like a long time ago now. The Englishman, who also hails from Faldo’s hometown of Welwyn Garden City, lit up the 2011 Open Championship by taking the silver medal as leading amateur. He then won the Portugal Masters on just his third pro start. It’s been a struggle since. The 2011 European Tour Rookie of the Year finished 117th on last year’s money list. He is 167th this year with just €23,490 in earnings. He needs to improve rapidly. The two-year exemption for his Portugal victory runs out at the end of this year.

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5. NO HOME ADVANTAGE FOR GARCIA: Sergio Garcia was hoping home course advantage (almost) would help him to victory. The 33-year-old grew up in nearby Castellon and knows El Saler well. He also arrived in his homeland after an eighth-place Masters finish. Yet Garcia never really got into contention. He placed 12th.

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