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Wittenberg turned down Travelers invite; wins Nationwide event

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Casey Wittenberg had earned a spot in this week's PGA Tour stop at the Travelers Championship by finishing T-10 at the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. He turned it down to compete on the Nationwide Tour instead.

It turned out to be the right decision.

Wittenberg won the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open on Sunday by two shots to win on the Nationwide Tour for the second time this season. 

The former Oklahoma State standout finished at 18 under par, closing with 5-under 66 at Crestview CC to beat fellow U.S. Open contestants Justin Hicks and Jim Herman. Wittenberg had missed the cut in his two previous appearances in this event.

Earning $108,000 for the win, Wittenberg jumped from 10th to second on the Nationwide Tour money list, all but ensuring a return to the PGA Tour in 2013. The top 25 players on the Nationwide Tour money list earn full PGA Tour status. 

Wittenberg won for the first time this season in March at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open. If Wittenberg could win for a third time on the Nationwide Tour this season, he will not only lock up PGA Tour status next year but also be automatically promoted to the PGA Tour for the remainder of this year.

The 2003 U.S. Amateur runner-up has spent one season on the PGA Tour, finishing 159th on the money list in 2009.