Casey Wittenberg wins Louisiana Open for first Nationwide Tour title

BROUSSARD, La. (AP) - Casey Wittenberg won the Louisiana Open on Sunday for his first Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 6-under 65 for an eight-stroke victory.

The 27-year-old former Oklahoma State player opened with round of 66, 66 and 63 and finished at a tournament-record 24-under 260 at Le Triomphe Country Club. He earned $90,000.

``It's a great feeling,'' said Wittenberg, the runner-up in the 2003 U.S. Amateur to Nick Flanagan. ``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.''

Wittenberg had two eagles, 22 birdies and two bogeys. He played the final 48 holes without a bogey.

``I really putted great the last three days,'' he said.

Fabian Gomez, Chris Riley and Paul Claxton tied for second. Gomez shot 65, Riley 67, and Claxton 68.

The eight-stroke margin of victory tied the fourth largest in Nationwide Tour history:

``I tried to believe in myself today,'' Wittenberg said. ``I've been fortunate enough to spend a lot of time around a lot of great players like Anthony Kim and Ivan Lendl and those guys are known for being able to close the deal. That's what I wanted to accomplish today.''

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