Tuesday, January 01, 2013


LITCHFIELD PARK, Arizona -- Sebastian Cappelen grew up in Odense, Denmark dreaming of being a pilot. On his final shot of the year, the 22-year-old two-time Palmer Cup player soared to new heights in the college golf ranks, canning a 15-foot birdie putt to win the Patriot All-America at The Wigwam's Gold Course.
Army First Sgt. Blue C. Rowe, the fallen soldier in whose honour Cappelen played, would be proud of the 22-year-old junior year student at the University of Arkansas. He fired a 2-under 68 for a total of 206 and a one-stroke victory over UNLV's Kevin Penner.
The result was a reverse of November's Western Refining College All-American when Cappelen closed with a 64 but finished one shy of Penner.
"Yeah, we've been going at each other a lot lately, and it did give me extra motivation," Cappelen said.
This time Cappelen said "a little thing in his ear" told him on the 18th tee that he was tied for the lead and he might want to make birdie. The voice was that of his girlfriend, Audrey Dunn, who had never watched him compete before. He might want her to come around more often.
Cappelen, whose father Ulrik was a Danish  international footballer, absorbed the news, flashed a smile, and told Audrey, "Well, then, I'm just going to have to make birdie."
Cappelen ripped a drive down the right side on the 440yd, dogleg-left par-4. His 8-iron approach from 163 yards funnelled toward the hole and stopped 15ft away. Cappelen knew enough to look to the Estrella Mountains and figured it was breaking hard left.
"It broke maybe more than a foot," he said.
For much of the day, it looked like the local kid -- Grand Canyon University's Jimmy Kozikowski -- would make good. He shot a bogey-free, 5-under 30 on the front nine, including an eagle-birdie-birdie surge between Nos. 4-6, to climb into the lead. But bogeys at Nos. 11, 14, and a pulled 2-foot par putt at 16 left him feeling queasier than the flight simulator he experienced at Luke Air Force Base on December 27. He shot 68 and finished tied for third.
Penner, who was a first round co-leader with Cappelen, hit 17 greens but said his putter wouldn't co-operate. He vaulted in front of Kowikowski with a 3ft birdie putt at 17 in the closing stages.
"I thought I needed one more," said Penner, who missed a 20ft downhill birdie at the last.
A day after making seven birdies to grab the 36-hole lead, Cody Proveaux made none and shot 4-over 74 to finish tied for fifth.
The 82-man field was made up of returning All-Americans from NCAA Divisions I, II, and III; NAIA; and NJCAA. In its second year, the tournament, established by the Golf Coaches Association of America, in conjunction with the Folds of Honor Foundation, seeks to honour fallen US military members, while providing the top collegiate golfers a “bowl game” experience.
After hearing the inspirational story of retired Major Ed Pulido of the Folds of Honor, several of the collegians were said to be ready to enlist. All the players carried a commemorative Ping golf bag bearing the name of a fallen soldier from various branches of the military. Cal's Brandon Hagy had the name of his Pop Warner teammate and high school friend at West Lake Village (Calif.), Specialist Andrew J Castro, U.S. Army, who died in active duty in Afghanistan. Nagy tied Castro's bandana that said "Warrior Pride," on his bag.
"It reminded me that freedom isn't free," he said. "It's cool to see so much support for our military."
It also might be the coolest winner's prize in college golf: a hand-carved F-16 replica and a bomber jacket that Fonzie would envy. Cappelen long ago gave up on his childhood dream, but now he can at least look the part. He slipped comfortably into the jacket.


Adam Hedges (Belmont Abbey) from Bromley finished T10 on 211 (69-69-73).
Adam  had eight birdies over the 54 holes - one in Round 1, five inRound 2 and two in Round 3.
Starting the final round in T3 position, Adam would have finished T5 but for a double bogey 6 at the 17th. He had halves of 34-39 in that final round that dragged him down.

Graeme Robertson (Stirling University) finished T42 on 224 (74-75-75).

Graeme might have been suffering from jet lag because he never got his European form going at all. 
The Glenbervie man had a double bogey 6  at the 14th in Round 1, a triple bogey 7 at the ninth in Round 2, and a double bogey 6, also at the ninth, in Round 3.
The Scot had six birdies in all - one in Round 1, two in Round 2 and three in Round 3.  

Alasdair Dalgliesh (Oklahoma Christian) finished T64 on 228 (77-73-78). 

Anglo-Scot Alasdair from West Sussex did not take his "A" game with him to Arizona. He he a double bogey 6 at the 17th in Round 1, a double bogey 5 at the short 11th in Round 2, and a double bogey 6 at the first in an outward half of 41 in Round 3.
His only two birdies of the 54 holes came at the 12th and 18th in Round 2.