Champion rewind: Cappelen
The former Razorback won the Air Capital Classic after getting in via Monday Qualifier. Look back at his career-changing week
Sebastian Cappelen couldn’t cop to any brash statements, even after a brash debut on the Web.com Tour.
He won in his very first pro start, as a Monday qualifier at the Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna. But as a three-time All-American at Arkansas, wasn’t he expecting to make a name for himself right away? To follow in the footsteps of other young studs? The mantra of all the kids these days is “ready to win now,” right?
“Not realistically. Absolutely not,” Cappelen said a few hours after his win on Sunday, refusing his opportunity to woof, although he had certainly earned it. “Everybody knows that it’s out there and that’s what everyone wants to do – play well right away – but how often do you see that?”
Well, there was Carlos Ortiz finishing third in his first career start back in February, then winning three events later and adding another “W” shortly after that. And Max Homa breaking out quickly, too.
But Cappelen took it to a new level in Wichita, Kansas. Not since Ted Potter Jr. won in South Georgia in 2011 had a Monday qualifier gone on to win, and not since Ben Crane in 2000 had such a Cinderella story been written at the Air Capital Classic.
The 24-year-old didn’t see it coming, but he didn’t talk himself into not making it happen, either. From the first round he had the hammer down at Crestview, hitting more drivers than most in the field with opening rounds of 66-65. Another 65 on Moving Day gave him the overnight lead, and he slept just fine on it.
He didn’t change his approach on Sunday, and another 66 iced it.
“I felt really comfortable on that golf course and I played really aggressive for all four rounds,” Cappelen said. “I just felt comfortable, so I went with it.
“I tried to play the way I’ve been playing in college, take some of that experience. Obviously the atmosphere is a lot different with the pro setup and all the people and things going on, but even with all of that I felt like I was pretty good at zoning in on what I needed to.”
And with that, another young star was hatched. Maybe it wasn’t realistic, but it’s real now.
ON THE BAG: Wichita was a good spot for Cappelen to try to qualify, being about four hours from Fayetteville, Arkansas. So he and a former college teammate, Jamie Marshall, loaded their clubs and headed northwest.
They struck a deal that if one made it through the qualifier and the other didn’t, then one would caddie for the other.
That’s how two Razorbacks ended up celebrating Sunday night.
NINE TO GO: Cappelen earned $108,000 for the win, putting him at No. 15 on the money list. That’s a lot better than being No. 25, which not surprisingly is a precarious spot again.
Zack Sucher finished T17 in Wichita but remained on the bubble spot, No. 25, where he began the week. That’s because Ryan Armour and Sam Saunders, behind T5 and T10 finishes, jumped from outside THE 25 to inside.
Alastair Presnell missed the cut and moved from No. 20 to 26, the spot everyone fears since only the top 25 get PGA TOUR cards. But he’s only $507 behind No. 25, and nine regular-season events remain.
The money list remains written in pencil.