Razorback Sebastian Cappelen Provides Thrills, Moves on in Western Amateur


Sebastian Cappelen moves on at Western Amateur

Sebastian Cappelen provides thrills in the Western Amateur at the Alotian Club


A thrilling comeback to start the day and a dominating performance to end it summed up Saturday’s 35-hole performance by University of Arkansas senior-to-be Sebastian Cappelen who advanced to the semifinals of the 111th Western Amateur Championship with a pair of match play wins at The Alotian Club.

In the morning round, No. 10 seed Cappelen faced a 2-down deficit with just three holes to play, but put together clutch back-to-back birdies to force extra holes where he defeated Alabama freshman-to-be Robby Shelton IV with a birdie on the 20th hole to advance to the quarterfinals. After a brief break, Cappelen returned to the course to take on Carlos Ortiz and never trailed, defeating the No. 2 seed, 4 & 3.

Cappelen’s pair of wins puts him in the semifinals against No. 3 seed Jordan Niebrugge, the U.S. Public Links Champion.  Niebrugge defeated No. 14 seed Taylor Gooch, 4 & 3, in the first round and No. 11 seed Seth Reeves, 3 & 1, in the quarterfinals. Sunday’s semifinal tee time is slated for 8:15 a.m.

The semifinal winners will square off in an 18-hole championship immediately following their first match on Sunday. Live in-progress scoring can be found at www.TheWesternAmateur.com or by following @RazorbackMGolf on twitter.

Cappelen jumped out to a fast start in his morning match with birdies on the first three holes and held a 2-up lead through seven. Shelton IV rallied by winning three of the next four holes and held a 2-up lead on Cappelen with just three to play. The 2013 SEC Champion and two-time Palmer Cup participant didn’t fold, responding with back-to-back birdies on the par 3, 16th hole and the par 5, 17th to even the match. A par by both players on the 18th forced extra holes. A pair of birdies on the par 5, 1st hole pushed the match to the 2nd where Cappelen made his fourth birdie in the final five holes to complete the comeback.

Momentum certainly hung with Cappelen when he returned for his quarterfinal match with Ortiz, as he opened with a birdie and followed with four straight pars to take a commanding 3-up lead through the first five holes. Over the stretch of the final five holes of his first round match and the first five of his quarterfinal, Cappelen won six holes, playing five-under par.

Cappelen’s lead grew to 4-up after back-to-back birdies on the par 5, 8th hole and par 4, 9th hole before he put Ortiz away on the 15th with his sixth birdie of the match, including his third straight.

Over the 35 holes on the day, Cappelen carded 14 birdies, including two stretches of three in a row and three others of the back-to-back variety. He also only made bogey on back-to-back holes one time.

Sophomore-to-be Taylor Moore was the second Razorback that advanced through the four rounds of stroke play and into the 16-man match play tournament. Moore was defeated by No. 5 seed David Snyder, 5 & 3.

Founded in 1899, the Western Amateur is regarded as one of the major amateur events in the world with Cappelen trying to join past winners such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. The field started with 156 players, including 54 of the world’s top 100, from 10 nations. This year marks the first time the Western Amateur has been held in state of Arkansas and the first time since 1966 it has been played in the south. Only the British Amateur (1855) and the U.S. Amateur (1895) are older than the Western Amateur.

Sebastian Cappelen Bio:

SOPHOMORE (2011-12)
Played 11 tournaments, averaging 72.21 … first-team All-SEC … Ping! Honorable Mention All-America . . . Ping! All-Central Region … four top 10 and eight top 20 finishes … medalist honors at the Cabo Collegiate with an eight-under par 205, his second career victory … SEC Player of the Week on April 11 after tying for third at The Woodlands All-American Intercollegiate which included a tournament record-tying round of 65 … tied for sixth at the Gopher Invitational … won all four of his matches at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championships, never making it past the 16th hole … five rounds in the 60s … three tournaments at or below par … tied for 27th at the SEC Championships … 12th at the NCAA Bowling Green Regional … individual record of 645-148-23 (.805) … 29 of his 33 rounds counted toward Arkansas’ team score … Athletic Department Honor Roll (3.0-3.49) for fall semester and Athletic Director’s list (3.5-3.99) for spring semester … SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll … tied for seventh at Western Refining All-American and tied for 41st at Patriot All-America during winter break … went 1-1-2 in four matches at the Palmer Cup, remaining undefeated 3-0-1 in singles competitions in helping the Europeans win … tied for 136th at the Amateur Championship.

FRESHMAN (2010-11)
Played 13 tournaments, averaging 71.79 … third-team Golfweek All-America … Ping! Honorable Mention All-America . . . Ping! All-Central Region … second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team … six top 10 and nine top 20 finishes … medalist honors at the Seminole Intercollegiate with a five-under par 208 … SEC Player of the Week on March 17 after winning the Seminole Intercollegiate … second at the Border Olympics with a school record 199, 17-under par … went nine consecutive rounds without a stroke over par in the spring … nine rounds in the 60s … six tournaments at or below par … tied for 12th at the SEC Championships … tied for 42nd at the NCAA Southeast Regional … tied for 66th at the NCAA Championships … opened his collegiate career with a second-place finish at the Gopher Invitational … individual record of 799-220-30 (.776) … 36 of his 38 rounds counted toward Arkansas’ team score … Played for Team Europe in 2011 Palmer Cup winning three of four matches including both singles rounds … SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll and SEC First-Year Academic Honor Roll … Athletic Department Honor Roll (3.0-3.49) for spring semester … won three of his four matches at the Palmer Cup including both singles competitions … finished 18th at the European team championships, shooting three-over par.

National team player for his native Denmark … played in the WC Juniors in 2008 and European Team Championships in 2009 for the national team … posted a three-under par score at the Titleist Championship in March of 2010 in Lamanga, Spain … was 10-under par and set a course record at the Odense Eventyr Golf in July of 2009.

Born April 14, 1990 … son of Ulrik and Kirsten Cappelen … has two siblings Frederik and Caroline … his father, Ulrik was a national team soccer player for Denmark … majoring in business economics.

Courtesy University of Arkansas Department of Athletics

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