Cory Whitsett, who helped Alabama win its second consecutive NCAA men’s golf championship two weeks ago at Hutchinson’s Prairie Dunes Country Club, will make his professional debut in next week’s Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club.
Two-time Air Capital Classic champion Brad Elder and Kyle Thompson, who finished second in the 2011 tournament on Crestview’s North course, also received exemptions into the Web.com Tour event, which will be played June 19-22.
Whitsett, a 22-year-old from Houston, will conclude a stellar amateur career this week in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, N.C. He was a member of last year’s victorious U.S. Walker Cup team and also won the 2007 U.S. Junior Amateur champion at age 15.
The left-handed Whitsett and his Alabama teammates defeated Oklahoma State in the team match-play final May 28 at Prairie Dunes. After using an amateur exemption to bypass the U.S. Open’s local qualifying stage, Whitsett fired consecutive rounds of 66 at Houston’s Lakeside Country Club, his home course, to win a sectional qualifier on June 2 and earned a spot in the field at Pinehurst No. 2.
Never miss a local story.
Elder, 39, has won three Web.com Tour events in his career. His Wichita victories include the 1999 tournament at Willowbend Golf Club and in 2007 at Crestview. This will be his first Web.com start of 2014.
Thompson, 35, is a three-time tour winner. He finished one shot behind Mathew Goggin three years ago at Crestview, and has made two cuts in six Web.com events this year.