Sebastian Cappelen couldn’t have dreamed of a better scenario heading into the final round of the Air Capital Classic presented by aetna. Cappelen, a Monday qualifier, fired his second straight 65 on Saturday afternoon at Crestview Country Club to grab the outright lead at 14-under par 196.
PGA TOUR veteran Andre Gonzales is in second at 12-under 198 after a bogey-free 66.
Web.com Tour rookie Sung Joon Park (64), Matt Weibring (66), Blayne Barber (67) and Rob Oppenheim (67) are two-strokes off the pace.
Local favorite Aaron Watkins (71), who held the 36-hole lead, struggled on Saturday afternoon and finds himself four-strokes back along with amateur Ollie Schniederjans (65), Paul Claxton (67) and Jeff Gove (68).
Cappelen maintained his aggressive strategy off the tee using his driver most of the day but hit only eight fairways. With precise irons from the rough and a smooth putting stroke, the former University of Arkansas Razorback managed to keep his card clean in the third round. Coming off of the 18th green Cappelen looked over at the leaderboard and noticed his name at the top.
“I don’t know what to say, it’s all new to me,” he said. “I’m just trying to do what I know best, and that’s just play golf.”
Cappelen came to Wichita with something to prove. The 24-year-old pro from Denmark doesn’t have any travel plans past this week. A win on the Web.com Tour can change a young touring professional’s life and Cappelen is well aware of the opportunity that presents itself on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s my one shot as of now and there’s nothing guaranteed,” he said. “It’s the dream, sometimes dreams come true and for me it’s just happening right now.”
Gonzales has been playing steady all season and things seem to be trending in the right direction for him to get back in the winner’s circle this week. The Washington native has been working with Anne Marie Gildersleeve, a teaching professional, in Austin, Texas straightening out the 31-year old pro’s flight pattern which has given Gonzales confidence in the gusty conditions this week.
“I feel like I can control my trajectory really well,” he said. “I’m able to work shots both ways and I’m very comfortable over shots when I’m fighting the wind.”
Gonzales iron game has been on point this week. The University of Las Vegas-Nevada alum hit 16 greens on Saturday afternoon but missed on a few chances once on the putting surfaces. Gonzales feels that if he can get a feel putts to go in early he can put a special round together on Sunday.
“I’m pleased with the way I’m playing,” he said. “I feel like I still have a really hot round coming.”
THIRD ROUND NOTES:
* Saturday weather: Mostly sunny. Wind SSW 10-15 mph gusting to 20 mph. Daytime high 88F.
* Sebastian Cappelen has now gone 27 holes on the back nine at Crestview CC without a bogey.
* Cappelen has recorded 11 of his 16 birdies on the back nine this week.
* There are only two par-5s this week and Cappelen has birdied both in all three rounds.
* Ted Potter Jr. was the last Monday qualifier to win on the Web.com Tour with his victory at the South Georgia Classic presented by First State Bank and Trust Company in 2011. Twenty players have advanced through and gone on to win the tournament
* Cappelen looks to become the second Monday qualifier to win at the Air Capital Classic. Ben Crane accomplished this with an impressive triumph in 2000.
* There have been 13 players who were victorious in their first start on Tour. The last was Ben Kohles who won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in 2012
* Andres Gonzales is looking for his second victory on Tour, Gonzales won the Soboba Golf Classic in 2012.
* Gonzales is T2 in fairways hit (32/42) and T3 in greens hit (43/54) through 54 holes.
* At the Web.com Tour Championship last year, playing competitor Lee Williams buried a long birdie putt on the 72ndhole to jump inside the top 50 on the Finals money list and retain his PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2013-14 season. Consequently, Williams’ birdie bumped Gonzales out of the final spot.
“In golf you have to have a short memory and I just try and forget about it and be happy for Lee.”
* In just his seventh start on the Web.com Tour, Sung Joon Park’s 6-under 64 in the third round is a new personal best.
* Park is currently No. 50 on the Regular Season money list. His best finish came at the Chile Classic, T3, where he fired a final round 66.
* Park’s final round scoring average this year is 68.67.
* Park lives in Korea and has been splitting time this year between the Web.com Tour and the Japan Golf Tour.
“I had to miss six tournaments on the Web.com Tour which makes it a little bit hard to keep my conditional (status). I’m going to focus on the Web.com for the rest of the tournaments. I’m going to rest after next week’s tournament and will play the rest after that.”
* Matt Weibring is seeking his first win on Tour on Sunday. Weibring has only made four cuts in nine starts and is currently No. 131 on the money list.
* Weibring will need a low round tomorrow if he hopes to catch the leaders. His final round scoring average this season is 72.33
* Blayne Barber came from two-strokes back to win the South Georgia Classic earlier this year in Valdosta.
* Barber’s final round scoring average this year is 69.50.
“I really don’t have a preference either way and if you have a shot on the last three or four holes on Sunday that’s great. I feel like I’m playing well and I missed about a three-footer on No. 2 and about a three, three-and-a-half-footer on 10 to make bogey. So, I feel like it was a good day and if I keep playing good golf then… I can’t control what those guys are doing. So let’s see where it puts me after tomorrow.”
* There are five past champions in the field this week. Here are their current results:
Brad Elder (1999, 2007) – 64-70-69—203 (T19)
Scott Parel (2013) – 67-70-68—205 (T30)
Casey Wittenberg (2012) – 71-67-69—207 (T53)
Jeff Klauk (2003) – 71-68—139 (CUT)
Mathew Goggin (2011) – 74-72—146 (CUT)
* Bogey-free rounds this week:
RD1 – Aaron Watkins (63), Gavin Coles (64), Blayne Barber (65), Andres Gonzales (65), Jimmy Gunn (67), Steven Alker (68), Kyle Stough (69)
RD2 – Rob Oppenheim (63), Jeff Gove (64), Matt Weibring (65), Oscar Frautro (66), Nick Rousey (66), Chris Baker (67), Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (67)
RD3 – Sung Joon Park (64), Sebastian Cappelen (65), Ryan Armour (65), Andres Gonzales (66), Josh Broadaway (67), Andres Echevarria (68)
* Scoring averages for the week:
Front (35) Back (35) Total (70)
R1 35.244 34.891 70.135
R2 34.885 34.647 69.532
R3 34.681 34.246 68.928
NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour travels to Evansville, Ind. for the United Leasing Championship presented by PTI at Victoria National Golf Club June 23-30. In a Monday finish, Ben Martin earned his first career title in a playoff victory over Ashley Hall, Billy Hurley and Joe Affrunti when he two-putted the first extra hole for par.