June Player of the Month: Casey Wittenbergtext sizeJuly 11, 2012
Laury Livsey, Web.com Tour staff
SANDY, Utah -- Casey Wittenberg had quite a five-week stretch in late-May and into June, and it's because of his play as the summer began that he is the Web.com Tour's June Player of the Month.
Wittenberg won the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open, giving him his second win of the campaign (he also won the Chitimacha Louisiana Open earlier in the year) and now he is one victory short of automatically moving to the PGA TOUR.
"I'm excited. [A win] kind of revitalizes you a little bit and energizes you," Wittenberg said prior to a practice round Tuesday at the Web.com Tour's Utah Championship. "It's really hard to win out here at any point in time, and I've been fortunate to be in that position twice this year. I'm just going to try to stay humble through the process and try to keep working on what I'm doing to put myself in contention again."
Wittenberg's five-week odyssey did include a stop on the PGA TOUR, where he played in the U.S. Open, picking up a lot of notoriety along the way with his tie-for-10th performance at San Francisco's Olympic Club. Wittenberg made the U.S. Open field after surviving a 36-hole qualifier the Monday after he tied for 33rd at The Rex Hospital Open.
"It was a pretty long five-week stretch because I had the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier in there," he said. His U.S. Open performance was his top major championship finish, bettering his tie for 13th at the 2004 Masters.
Given the fact he had earned a spot into the U.S. Open field and the Mexico Open started three days later, withdrawing from the Mexico event to prepare for the U.S. Open might have been understandable. That, however, wasn't part of Wittenberg's plan.
"I had played well in Mexico the year before, and I was far from having my work done on this Tour as far as securing my (PGA TOUR) card," he said. "That was my main focus." So he proceeded to tie for sixth in Mexico and immediately flew to California, tied for 10th at the Open, earning a return trip to the 2013 U.S. Open -- no 36-hole qualifier next year -- then headed to Wichita, where he added win No. 2 to his resume with a two-shot victory over Jim Herman and Justin Hicks.
"It's always exciting to play good in the U.S. Open, arguably the biggest tournament I could play, with me being a U.S.-born player. It was obviously something I could build on, and I think it carried over into Wichita," he added.
Now, after enjoying a week off last week with a break in the Web.com Tour schedule, Wittenberg is back in this Salt Lake City suburb for the Utah Championship playing on a course he likes.
He adds, "It's a fun little golf course to play. You have to make birdies and you have to go low on this golf course to be in contention."
Wittenberg's Web.com Tour results DATE TOURNAMENT NAME POS 1 2 3 4 TOTAL SCORE TO PAR OFFICIAL MONEY 5/20/12 BMW Charity Pro-Am T12 69 72 69 65 275 -11 $11,400.00 6/03/12 The Rex Hospital Open T33 68 71 69 71 279 -5 $3,080.00 6/10/12 Mexico Open Presented by Banamex T6 70 68 72 68 278 -10 $18,906.25 6/24/12 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open 1 63 70 67 66 266 -18 $108,000.00 Key statistics from the 2012 season so far STANDARD STATS RANK Driving Distance 285.6 100th Driving Accuracy Percentage 71.35% 19th Greens in Regulation Percentage 72.22% 17th Putting Average 1.802 74th Eagles (Holes per) 171.0 40th Birdie Average 3.82 23rd Scoring Average (Actual) 69.84 4th Sand Save Percentage 58.33% 12th Total Driving 119 43rd All-Around Ranking 289 10th Rank This Week Rank Last Week Player Events Money YTD Victories 1 1 Paul Haley II 11 $244,234 1 2 2 Casey Wittenberg 12 $240,019 2 3 3 Luke List 12 $236,313 1 4 4 Andres Gonzales 11 $205,882 1 5 5 Andrew Svoboda 13 $175,357
And when it comes to being in contention, Wittenberg knows plenty about that.