Americans plot Challenge Tour path to big time

1/27/2012 5:12:14 AM
Dodge Kemmer ( ()
Dodge Kemmer ( ()

The start of the Challenge Tour season had a distinctly American feel to it with three of the country’s top up-and-coming players, Dodge Kemmer, Scott Pinckney and Peter Uihlein, in the field at the Gujarat Kensville Challenge.

Uihlein is one of the most talked-about names in the field after his stunning amateur career, which saw him play in two Walker Cups (holding a 100 per cent win record in 2009), win the prestigious US Amateur Championship and reach the number one spot in the World Amateur Rankings, before making the cut at The 140th Open Championship last year.

He is making his professional debut alongside Scott Pinckney, a close friend of Rory McIlroy’s who qualified for The European Tour through the 2011 Qualifying School, and Dodge Kemmer.

It is a trend which Kemmer hopes will continue as many young American players eye the European circuit as the perfect place to hone their skills and earn valuable experience across the continents.

“This is my first time on the Challenge Tour,” said the 24 year old, who was the first American to win on the satellite EuroPro Tour. “It’s really good, a good field and a lot of really nice people, so I’m really happy to be here.

“I played on the Canadian Tour last season but got a couple of invites on The European Tour in the winter last year. This is definitely different to anything I’ve done, but it’s part of pro golf and that’s one of the things I was looking forward to, getting a bunch of different experiences so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can.

“I hope to play a few more Challenge Tour tournaments, I don’t have a category but I hope to play as many as I can on invites.”

Commenting on the unusually high number of Americans present in India this week, the Californian said: “I’m afraid there might be some kind of invasion going on!

“I know Scott and Peter, I played with both of them in college and I’m staying with Scott this week, so it’s nice to have people who you know and you can understand pretty easily!

“I decided myself I’d come here and then found out afterwards that other Americans would be here, so it’s even better.”