Myrtle Beach, S.C. - November 3, 2015 –Over the past six seasons, the Swing Thought Tour has secured more Web.com Tour and PGA TOUR event exemptions than any other tour in developmental golf. Today, that gap got even wider as the Swing Thought Tour announced they have been awarded an event exemption into the 2016 Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna. The Air Capital Classic will be held June 20-26 at Crestview Country Club in Wichita, Kansas. This marks the 6th year the Air Capital Classic has partnered with the Swing Thought Tour (formerly the NGA/Hooters and eGolf Tours) to award the #3 developmental tour in the U.S.A. an event exemption. The Swing Thought Tour was awarded an exemption into the event from 2010 to 2013 as well as this past season. Although the Swing Thought Tour has been the leading developmental tour in receiving event exemptions since 2010, the Swing Thought Tour does not have any official affiliation with the PGA TOUR or Web.com Tour.
“The ultimate goal of the Swing Thought Tour has always been, and will always be, to help professional golfers achieve their dreams of playing at golf’s highest levels,” stated Swing Thought Tour president Robin L. Waters, PGA. “The game of golf is all about opportunities and the Air Capital Classic has been generous enough to provide this potentially life changing opportunity for one of our aspiring professional golfers. We’ve seen it several times before where one of our players gets into a Web.com Tour event, wins, and next thing you know they are competing on the PGA TOUR. We cannot thank the Air Capital Classic enough for providing this opportunity.”
The Air Capital Classic is one of four original Web.com Tour events that are still on the schedule. The Classic will embark on its 27th year at Crestview Country Club on Thursday, June 23rd through Sunday, June 26th. Wichita was on the Tour’s first schedule in 1990 as one of 30 stops on what was then the Ben Hogan Tour.
Swing Thought Tour alum Rob Oppenheim won the event this year on his way to securing his PGA TOUR card for the 2015-2016 season. Fellow alums Scott Parel, Casey Wittenberg, Scott Piercy, Jeff Klauk, Tyler Williamson, David Toms and Tom Lehman join Oppenheim as past champions.
The event exemption into next year’s Air Capital Classic is the second so far to be awarded to the Swing Thought Tour for the next season. Georgia Tech alum J.T. Griffin won the tour’s exemption into next season’s Rex Hospital Open via his sponsor’s pro-am victory earlier this season.
The tour has been the industry leader in event exemptions, having received 44 since the start of the 2010 season and including three into PGA TOUR events; the 2012 & 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open and the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship. No other developmental tour has been anywhere close to the number awarded to the Swing Thought Tour in that time. The Tour received a record eleven exemptions for the 2015 season including: the Air Capital Classic: four into the BMW Pro-Am Championship, two into the Rex Hospital Open, and one each into the News Sentinel Open, the Utah Championship, the United Leasing Championship, and the Digital Ally Open. The Swing Thought Tour’s goal is to provide even more opportunities for the upcoming season.
Rob Oppenheim, 2015 Air Capital Classic Champion, earned the final PGA TOUR card Sunday by $101 at TPC Sawgrass in the finale of the Web.com Championship along with 40 other Air Capital Classic alums. The new PGA TOUR season starts in less than two weeks (October 15 – 18) at the Frys.com Open in California.
Tournament also announces charitable donations of $140,000, with increased attendance credited.
WICHITA, Kan. - The Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna celebrated its 26th year in 2015 as part of the Web.com Tour and experienced record attendance once again. As a result, the Air Capital Classic was able to donate nearly $140,000 to local charities, tournament officials announced today.
The tournament also announced the event would return to its home of the last 15 years, Crestview Country Club, in 2016, and be played June 16-26 with competition rounds on the 23rd to the 26th.
"Congratulations on the success of the 2015 Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna,” said Web.com Tour president Bill Calfee. “We have seen this tournament grow in many ways, particularly in the last several years. Many of the things it does are now best practices that are noticed and replicated by other tournaments on the Web.com Tour. The atmosphere, the hospitality, the crowd involvement, and other facets are wonderful to see and experience. We thank the tournament staff, the Ambassadors and every volunteer for contributing to a very successful 2015 tournament.”
In addition to the charitable donations of $140,000, Wichita also benefits from the annual $4.5 million economic impact provided by the event. “We have so many people to thank for making this possible,” says Tournament Director Roy Turner. “Our fantastic team of ambassadors rallied behind us and contributed greatly to the success of the event. We cannot say ‘thank you’ enough to them and everyone else who played a part in a wonderful 2015 Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna.”
Fifty-two former Air Capital Classic Presented by AETNA players are part of the 157 man 2015 PGA Championship field this week at Whistling Straights including former champions David Toms, Scott Piercey and Jason Dufner. Other alums are:
2016 Air Capital Classic dates will be announced soon.
WICHITA, Kan. – Former Wichita Alums Zach Johnson and Scott Piercy topped the leaderboard at the 144th British Open and the PGA TOUR Barbasol Championship.