Who is Peter Kuest?
Born in Fresno, California, on February 12, 1998, Peter Kuest was a name that was unfamiliar to many until recent top 20 finishes on the PGA Tour. With an impressive list of amateur achievements to his name, he has become a youngster to watch on the PGA Tour.
Kuest's early life was in part shaped by a moment when his father, a painting contractor, used a painter's uniform as a not-so-subtle hint. If Kuest wasn't prepared to dedicate his time to golf, there were other 'productive' tasks waiting. Heeding his father's message, Kuest picked up his golf clubs, setting off on a trajectory that would lead him to rank first nationally during his senior year at Brigham Young University (BYU).
Kuest distinguished himself as one of the best players in BYU's storied history. During his senior year, he took home the trophy in several major tournaments, including the William H. Tucker Invitational, the Nick Watney Invitational, and the Saint Mary’s Invitational. These victories, among others, showcased his skill and competitive nature, helping him establish a significant presence in collegiate golf and an invitation to the 2019 Arnold Palmer Cup where he represented Team USA.
His excellence on the course did not go unrecognized. In 2020, he was ranked the #1 NCAA Golfer by Golfstat, a reflection of his superb performances throughout the year. The same year, he was named on the NCAA D1 PING First Team All-American and found his name on the 2020 Haskins Award Final Watch List, further solidifying his standing as a top-tier collegiate golfer.
At BYU, under the guidance of head coach Bruce R. Brockbank, Kuest refined his raw talent into a formidable golf game. His ability to hit the ball with both power and precision became a hallmark of his style. Brockbank described Kuest as "so strong" and his power is certainly one of his biggest assets.
Following his successful collegiate journey cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, Kuest shifted his focus to the PGA Tour, looking to Monday Qualify where possible. His performances on the professional stage have certainly caught the eye, his power packed game yielding big finishes at the Rocket Mortgage Classic (4th) and John Deere Classic (17th). The young American ranked first in Driving Distance in both of those starts.
Kuest's length comes with a keen self-awareness and commitment to improvement: Speaking at the 2020 Barracuda Championship, Kuest said, "I feel like I'm a really good ball striker, and distance has always been there. The last couple weeks the driver has been a little off, so it's put me in some difficult positions, but usually that's a strength of mine. As always the wedges need to get a little better and you need to make more putts. That's just what it comes down to."
Speaking about his future aspirations, Kuest has always had his sights set high. When interviewed at the same tournament, Kuest stated, "Ultimate goals is definitely win some majors and be No. 1 in the world. You've just got to take it one day at a time, trying to get better each day." Bold words for a player who was very much in the infancy of his development but perhaps reflective of the confidence he possesses.
Kuest appears to have maintained a grounded approach to life though and looks set for a promising career on the PGA Tour. At this year's John Deere Classic he shared, "I'm really easy going. Nothing really bothers me. Just take life one step at a time and roll with the punches. Hopefully don't get hit too much."
That attitude may in part be due to the fact Kuest has already had to deal with the loss of his father. Kuest describes his father as "the the reason we were able to play sports and compete" and so the loss has been a great one. It has also taken a toll on his health, with Kuest disclosing to pgatour.com that he was diagnosed with alopecia last year, something he believes was a result of the stress caused by losing his dad.
Having dealt with adversity so early in his life, Kuest could have been forgiven for giving up on his dream but it is very much to his credit that he has bounced back the way he has. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Kuest go on to win on PGA Tour in the next couple of years.
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