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Wittenberg's gamble to play Nationwide pays off

Casey Wittenberg
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After finishing T-10 at the U.S. Open, Casey Wittenberg had a decision to make. He qualified to play in the $6 million Travelers Championship on the PGA Tour, or he could play for a $600,000 purse at the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open on the Nationwide Tour.

He chose the latter and won for the second time in 2012, all but guaranteeing a return to the PGA Tour next season. At the time, however, the decision was not clear.

'I was playing great golf at the U.S. Open, I felt like, and I felt like if I went up to Hartford and played really good, it could change my life,' Wittenberg said Tuesday on 'Morning Drive.' 'At the same time, my focus is on the Nationwide Tour this year and getting my business done out there. What I ended up deciding was trying to get my business done on the Nationwide Tour.'

Now No. 2 on the Nationwide Tour money list, Wittenberg is practically assured of earning a PGA Tour card in 2013. The top 25 players on the money list gain full status. If he wins for a third time, however, he earns that status and an automatic promotion to the PGA Tour for the remainder of this year.

'I would by lying if I said it wasn't (on my mind),' he said. 'I think it's more important for me to focus on the process and what I've done this year to get in this position.'