Wittenberg coasts to first Nationwide Tour win|
Broussard, LA (Sports Network) - Another event, another first-time winner on
the Nationwide Tour.
Casey Wittenberg carded a six-under 65 on Sunday to close out an eight-shot
victory at the Louisiana Open in style.
Wittenberg set the tournament scoring record at 24-under-par 260, four strokes
better than the previous mark. He used a third-round 63 to grab the lead, and
his bogey-free final round allowed him to coast to the title.
"It's a great feeling," said Wittenberg. "I've put a lot of hard work into my
game. I've probably underachieved to where I thought I might be at this point
in my life, but golf's a humbling game. It's a tough sport and you have to
cherish these weeks when you play good."
Chris Riley (67), Paul Claxton (68) and 2010 winner Fabian Gomez (65) finished
in a distant second place at 16-under 268.
The 27-year-old Wittenberg became the third player to earn his first title on
tour this season, following Edward Loar at the Panama Claro Championship and
Paul Haley II at the Chile Classic.
As it turned out, Wittenberg could have shot even par and walked away with the
He sat at 18-under after the third round and those closest to him at that
point -- Camilo Benedetti and Darron Stiles -- struggled to keep pace on
Benedetti had just two birdies to counter a bogey on his front nine, while
Stiles shot even par. Benedetti did reach minus-17 after consecutive birdies
at 10 and 11, but he would have had to come up with a memorable run to catch
The 2003 U.S. Amateur runner-up, Wittenberg gave himself plenty of cushion
with a good front nine. He began his round with a birdie and sank two in a row
from the fifth. Another at the ninth put him at 22-under heading around the
turn, and from that point on, it was just a matter of holding onto the lead.
Wittenberg did more than that, expanding his advantage by rolling in birdies
at 11 and 17.
"Fortunately nobody really came after me today," Wittenberg said. "I figured
the field pace was probably going to be four-under, so I thought if I could
shoot five-under then somebody else was going to have shoot nine-under to
catch me. I didn't know if that was possible."
Canadian Brad Fritsch had the best round of the day, a nine-under 62. He
shared fifth place with Woody Austin (68), Rob Oppenheim (69), Benedetti (70)
and Stiles (70).
NOTES: Wittenberg collected $90,000 for the win...Last year's champion, Brett
Wetterich, carded a two-over 73 Sunday. He finished in 61st at minus-
three...The Nationwide Tour takes next week off before returning April 5 with
the Soboba Golf Classic, held in San Jacinto, California. That tournament is
the same weekend as The Masters.
03/25 19:36:29 ET