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Sebastian Cappelen

Chasing the PGA Tour dream: The story of Sebastian Cappelen

The quality of rookies on the PGA Tour gets better every year and Sebastian Cappelen is evidence of that. We met him to get his backstory
 

Fresh from the Danish national team scene Sebastian Cappelen upped sticks in 2010 and headed for university in the United States.

In the last two tournaments he has earned nearly $300,000 on the PGA Tour.

Cappelen arrived in Arkansas with the dream of one day making a living as a professional and, having secured a PGA Tour card for 2020, that dream is now playing out.

Now based in Ponte Vedra we spoke to Cappelen last season at a media day for the Players Championship at Sawgrass, somewhere the Dane regularly practises. 

At the time he was in the throes of his card-securing season on the Korn Ferry Tour and he gave us an insight into exactly how he ended up playing professional golf in the United States.

“When I grew up playing on the national team in Denmark, there were a lot of people who went to college in the US,” he told NCG. “When I finished high school I knew that I wasn’t ready to turn pro straightaway and my coach had a good relationship with an assistant coach at Arkansas at the time. One winter he came to Denmark to see our facilities and how we went about things in winter time.

“He ended up just watching me practise and then said to me, ‘Have you ever thought about coming to college?’ I hadn’t really but also it was a bit of a different dream.

“I went on a visit and then a week later I was like, ‘I’ll come to college.’ That was the only place I saw and their facilities were the only thing I needed to see.”

Cappelen went on to be part of a successful college team, winning four times and when he made the transition to the Korn Ferry Tour he was twice in the winners’ circle.

“We (Arkansas) were fairly highly ranked in the country so we got to play in a lot of good tournaments,” he said.

“My coaches were all about playing tough courses. On the Korn Ferry Tour you have to shoot really low scores so it was a little weird, you had to reset your mindset, get birdies and shoot low scores to win. Whereas in college we had more of a major mentality where shooting par was a good score.”

The Dane’s first win on the Korn Ferry Tour came at the 2014 Air Capital Classic in some fairly unusual circumstances – not only was this his first event as a professional but he had to come through Monday qualifiers and this saw him became the first man since Ted Potter Jr in 2011 to win after Monday Qualifying.

“It was a bit of a weird situation because the week before a friend who caddied for me in that event went to Memphis with me to play in the US Open sectional qualifiers. I was in five-person play-off for two spots and two alternate spots. Four people got in and I was the one who didn’t,” he said. “I missed that and the Monday after I qualified for the Korn Ferry event and won that tournament which was the same week as the US Open.”

Cappelen’s career has since gone from strength to strength and now with full PGA Tour membership he has made a strong start with his best tour performance coming at the American Express where he tied for 6th and he led after the first round at Torrey Pines.

Sebastian Cappelen factfile

Nationality: Danish
Age: 29
College: Arkansas
Korn Ferry Tour wins: 2
Best PGA Tour finishes: T6 – The American Express, T21 Farmers Insurance Open

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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