Golf

Former champion among field hoping to qualify for Air Capital Classic

Brad Elder celebrated his win in the 1999 Wichita Open by taking a swig of champagne from the trophy. He’ll be back at Willowbend on Monday, trying to qualify for this week’s tournament.
Brad Elder celebrated his win in the 1999 Wichita Open by taking a swig of champagne from the trophy. He’ll be back at Willowbend on Monday, trying to qualify for this week’s tournament. Hacker

Two-time champion Brad Elder is among approximately 180 golfers who will try to earn one of 12 available spots in this week’s Air Capital Classic through Monday qualifying tournaments at Auburn Hills Golf Course and Willowbend Golf Club.

The 18-hole qualifiers begin at 7:30 a.m. at both courses and kick off a series of events leading up to the $625,000 Web.com Tour tournament, which begins Thursday at Crestview Country Club. Sunday’s champion in the 72-hole tournament will earn $112,500.

Elder, 42, is scheduled to compete at Willowbend, where he won the 1999 Air Capital Classic. He also won the 2007 championship at Crestview and is the tournament’s career earnings leader with $162,100.

Six qualifying spots will be awarded at each course to help complete the 156-player field. PGA Tour veteran Ben Crane and current Web.com player Sebastian Cappelen won the Air Capital Classic as Monday qualifiers.

Admission is free at both courses.

Air Capital Cup field set – Sterling native Michael Gellerman and former Golf Channel “Big Break” winner Tommy Gainey are among six Web.com Tour professionals scheduled to compete against a team of local pros in the Hatchett Hyundai-Buick-GMC Air Capital Cup on Monday evening at Crestview’s North course.

The six-hole exhibition will begin at 6 p.m. on the 10th tee. The annual event is free and gives spectators an opportunity to walk the fairways with the competitors.

Local pros include Willowbend’s Doug Atherly, Terradyne’s Greg Bray, City of Wichita golf manager Troy Hendricks, Wichita Country Club’s Phil Prude and Crestview’s Brian Ward and Trent Rommann.

Jaeger wins again – Germany’s Stephan Jaeger became the first two-time winner on the Web.com Tour this season, holding off Ted Potter Jr. by two shots Sunday at the Rust-Oleum Championship in Ivanhoe, Ill.

Jaeger shot a 1-under-par 71 for a 72-hole total of 274 at the Ivanhoe Club. Jaeger’s victory came three weeks after he won the BMW Charity Pro-Am and vaulted him to the No. 1 spot in season earnings with $247,860.

Jaeger, who shot a first-round 58 last year en route to his first tour victory at the Ellie Mae Classic, is one of 16 Web.com players who have qualified for the U.S. Open at Erin Hills. He will not compete in the Air Capital Classic.

“I got a couple good breaks this week and a couple putts dropped that shouldn’t have dropped,” Jaeger said. “But on weeks like that, it just happens. I’m happy that it was this week and I’m ready for the U.S. Open next week.”

Air Capital Classic

  • Monday: Air Capital Cup, 6 p.m.
  • Tournament: Thursday-Sunday
  • Where: Crestview Country Club
  • Information: www.aircapclassic.com
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