• European Tour Rookie of the Year

Uihlein becomes first American to win award

ESPN staff
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Uihlein has had quite the maiden European Tour season © PA Photos
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Peter Uihlein has become the first American to win the European Tour's Rookie of the Year award.

Massachusetts-born Uihlein won his maiden tour title at the Madeira Islands Open in May en route to finishing 14th in the Race to Dubai.

The 24-year-old lost in a play-off to David Howell at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship - where during the third round he saw his putt for the European Tour's first ever 59 miss my mere centimetres.

He also earned top-10 finishes at the Tshwane, Spanish and Wales Opens.

The Oklahoma State University graduate becomes the 49th recipient of the award, joining an honour roll that includes Sir Nick Faldo (1977), Sandy Lyle (1978), Jose Maria Olazabal (1986), Colin Montgomerie (1988), Sergio Garcia (1999), Ian Poulter (2000), Paul Casey (2001) and Martin Kaymer (2007).

"It's an honour," Uihlein, who reached amateur world No. 1 in 2010, told the European Tour website. "I wasn't expecting it, but it's been a great year and I'm very pleased. I think I'm the first non-European to win it, so that's a great honour. Any time you're the first of anything, it's neat.

"The win in Madeira was great and I had a lot of top-10s. I played well all week in Madeira and handled myself well in the wind, and it was nice to get the job done. The win opened a few doors for me and I was able to play at Wentworth [in the BMW PGA Championship] the following week.

"I was supposed to start the year on the Challenge Tour, but instead I was 11th in the Race to Dubai heading into the final event, so it wasn't what I'd planned on but obviously it's fantastic the way it has worked out."

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