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Air Capital Classic notes: Some skip Wichita for U.S. Open

  • Eagle correspondent
  • Published Tuesday, June 11, 2013, at 10:03 p.m.
  • Updated Saturday, June 15, 2013, at 7:34 a.m.

Thirteen members of the Web.com Tour are playing in the U.S. Open at Merion instead of the Air Capital Classic this week, including Edward Loar, who is No. 2 on the tour money list.

Loar, a former Oklahoma State golfer, shared medalist honors with Jordan Spieth and another Web.com member, Matt Weibring, in the 36-hole U.S. Open sectional qualifier last week at Dallas’ Lakewood Country Club. The trio shot 8-under par.

Loar, who won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in March, has earned $221,358 this season. Michael Putnam, a two-time winner this year, leads the tour with $354,234.

Other Web.com members at Merion include 2011 Air Capital Classic champion Mathew Goggin and John Peterson, who will play in his second major of the year. Peterson became the first tour member to secure an invitation to the Masters after tying for fourth in last year’s U.S. Open at the Olympic Club.

There are 61 golfers in the U.S. Open field with Web.com experience.

Wilkinson and winning – Tim Wilkinson is third on the Web.com money list without the benefit of a victory. The 34-year-old from New Zealand has finished in the top 15 in seven tournaments, including his second career runner-up finish in the Stadion Classic at UGA.

There’s a unique twist to Wilkinson’s finish in early May and his previous second-place effort at the 2005 Oregon Classic. Both came in tournaments in which the final round was rained out.

Only five Web.com tournaments have been shortened to 54 holes by weather in the tour’s last 14 years.

“It’s just one of those things,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson had his chances to match Stadion Classic winner Brendon Todd after 54 holes. But he couldn’t match Todd’s 18-foot birdie on the penultimate hole, then bogeyed the final hole to stay a shot behind.

“I knew their was about a 70 percent chance we wouldn’t play that Sunday,” Wilkinson said. “If I just keep improving and playing solid golf, it will get things done in the end. I’ve sort of had one weak round in every tournament.”

Last year’s champ – Casey Wittenberg’s victory in the 2012 Air Capital Classic propelled him to the top spot on the Web.com season money list and back to the PGA Tour. Wittenberg is playing in the U.S. Open this week after tying for 10th in last year’s championship a week prior to his win at Crestview.

This year on the PGA Tour, Wittenberg has made the cut in just six of 18 tournaments. He earned more than half of his $400,572 this season with an eighth-place tie at the Players Championship.

Etc. – After an off week, the Web.com kicks off the busiest stretch of its season this week at Crestview Country Club. The Air Capital Classic is the first of 14 tournament in a stretch of 16 weeks. … Former Web.com member Harris English’s victory in last week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic was the 357th PGA Tour victory by a golfer from the developmental tour.

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