WEB.COM TOUR STORYLINES – Week of June 23rd
UNITED LEASING CHAMPIONSHIP presented by PTI, June 26-29 (13th of 25 events):-
Victoria National Golf Club, Newburgh (Evansville), Ind.
Purse: $600,000 First: $108,000
2013 Champion: Ben Martin
Field: 156 players
TV Coverage: Golf Channel will televise all four rounds in HD
IMPRESSIVE PRO DEBUT FOR DENMARK’S SEBASTIAN CAPPELEN – Sebastian Cappelen won the 25th Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna to become the first Monday qualifier since Ted Potter, Jr. to win on the Web.com Tour the same week and the 21st in Tour history. The four-time University of Arkansas All-American from Denmark was making his professional debut and first appearance in a Web.com Tour event. He sealed the victory with a two-putt par from off the green on the 72nd hole at Crestview Country Club to hold off a hard-charging Matt Weibring (64) and win by one. Cappelen, 24, went from no Tour status to fully exempt this year and next, and enters the money list at No. 15. He is the Tour’s first Danish winner. Cappelen is a few classes shy of earning his UA degree. Below is his University of Arkansas golf team bio.
PATH TO PGA TOUR COMES TO EVANSVILLE – With the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI the second in a run of 14 consecutive tournaments to end the 2014 season, the pace and anticipation on the Web.com Tour are clearly heightening. The Evansville, Ind. event is the 13th of 21 Regular Season tournaments that will be followed by the four-event Web.com Tour Finals in late August and September. The top-25 money winners at the end of the Regular Season, which comes at the WinCo Foods Portland Open, will be guaranteed a card on the PGA TOUR in 2014-15. An additional 25 will be up for grabs at the Finals.
TOP TRACK – Host Victoria National Golf Club is one of Indiana’s top-ranked golf courses and also enjoys national recognition. The winning score in the first two years of the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI was 277 (11 under), with Peter Tomasulo (2012) and Ben Martin (2013) prevailing in playoffs. Last year, only four events (including one shortened to 54 holes) saw a higher winning score in relation to par.
ENCOURAGING WEEK – Despite coming up one shot shy of catching Sebastian Cappelen, Matt Weibring was encouraged by his performance in Wichita (68-65-66-64), his best since a T2 at the 2012 Mylan Classic. “I haven’t played that well this year,” the 34-year-old Texan said. “It was nice to get in the mix again. Hopefully this is a springboard for me going into the rest of the summer.”
COREY WHITSETT, ANOTHER PRO DEBUT – Another four-time All-American, Alabama’s Cory Whitsett, made his pro debut last week. Playing on a sponsor exemption in Wichita, the Houston, Texas resident finished T38, one week after ending a stellar amateur career at the U.S. Open at Pinehurst (missed cut). Whitsett received an invitation to compete in this week’s United Leasing Championship presented by PTI. The 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur champion outlined his game plan for the rest of the summer. “I have to play where I can get in. Hopefully I can play in some events here and there. I feel like the Web.com Tour Finals are setup for guys like me who just got out of school, to qualify for and get your PGA TOUR card that way. People are saying that you can’t get a card through Q-School, but you really can. You can make that your Q-School, and that’s kind of the idea I’ve had. I feel like it’s a good way to go about it.”
AMATEUR DEBUT – Rising Georgia Tech senior and the world’s top-ranked amateur Ollie Schniederjans’s first start in a TOUR-sanctioned event last week at the Air Capital Classic was an impressive one. The Powder Springs, Ga. resident finished T5, opening with a 64 and recording a hole-in-one on Sunday at Crestview’s 8th hole. Schniederjans heads to England for this week’s Palmer Cup (June 26-28) and to attempt to qualify for the Open Championship.
PGA TOUR CANADA’S NO. 1 HEADED TO EVANSVILLE – Sunday’s PGA TOUR Canada winner Joel Dahmen received an exemption to play in this week’s Web.com Tour event at Victoria National Golf Club. The Idaho native who went to the University of Washington is firmly atop the Order of Merit in Canada, having won the Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON in Fort McMurray, Alberta by five shots last week and the PC Financial Open three weeks ago in Vancouver. The 26-year-old missed the cut in his lone previous Web.com Tour start in his native Idaho, at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco.
NFL PROSPECT!? – Andres Gonzales was in Portland early last week, along with fellow Northwest natives Andrew Putnam and Scott Harrington, to promote August’s WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft. He shared why he is now a professional golfer vs. potentially being in the NFL. “I broke my neck when I was 11,” he said. “That’s what got me into golf. I was never allowed to play football or wrestle – anything with contact, I couldn’t get cleared for by doctors. I’d probably be in the league right now, hitting people – maybe at fullback, blocking for Marshawn Lynch (of his hometown Seattle Seahawks). But in a way, breaking my neck was fortunate. I enjoy what I do and I’m happy I got into golf.” Gonzales recorded his best finish of the year in Wichita last week, a T5.
“GOLFEST NOVA SCOTIA”– A full week of “GOLFest Nova Scotia” activities are planned in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada next week. On Sunday, June 29th, the Junior Canada Cup will kick things off. On Monday, it’s the RBC Canada Cup, with two four-man teams vying for Team Canada (David Hearn, Graham DeLaet, Adam Hadwin and Mike Weir) vs. Team World (Trevor Immelman, Matt Kuchar, Manuel Villegas and Gary Woodland) for international bragging rights. The Web.com Tour’s Nova Scotia Open will feature Wednesday’s Pro-Am, followed by the 72-hole tournament with 156 players continuing their pursuit of the 50 available PGA TOUR cards for 2014-15. All events will be staged at Ashburn Golf Club (New Course).
WIVES: “STUFF A CADDY” IN EVANSVILLE – The Web.com Tour Wives Association, Youth First and the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI have teamed to stage “Stuff A Caddy” on Wednesday, June 25th in Evansville. People are being asked to donate school supplies that will benefit the children of Youth First. The items will be “stuffed” in two Escalades provided by Romain Cadillac.
GOLF CHANNEL, FOUR IN A ROW – The United Leasing Championship presented by PTI is the first of four consecutive Web.com Tour events that will air and be produced in HD on Golf Channel. The Evansville event will be followed by televised Tour stops in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Salt Lake City, Utah and Boise, Idaho. This week’s telecasts will begin at 7 p.m. ET Thursday through Sunday.
MONDAY QUALIFIERS – Among the 12 who qualified on Monday for the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI were Steven Fox and Michael Weaver, who squared off in the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship final won by Fox on the 37th hole, and Bobby Wyatt, a member of the University of Alabama’s 2013 and 2014 NCAA championship teams. Wyatt made his pro debut last week on the PGA TOUR in Hartford (missed the cut by a shot).
DID YOU KNOW? – 2011 and 2013 Web.com Tour graduate Miguel Angel Carballo produced three eagles in the final round of the PGA TOUR’s Travelers Championship on Sunday. Another Tour grad Jim Herman (Farmers Insurance Open) and the Web.com Tour’s Alistair Presnell (Chile) are the only other PGA TOUR / Web.com Tour players to match the feat this year.
NEXT WEEK – The Tour plays in Halifax, Canada for the first time. The Nova Scotia Open will be played at Ashburn Golf Club (New Course) July 3-6 during “GOLFest Canada”, a weeklong celebration of golf that will kick off with the Junior Canada Cup (June 29th) and the RBC Canada Cup (June 30th).
Source: PGA Tour