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After passing on Travelers invite, Casey Wittenberg wins Nationwide Tour event

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Casey Wittenberg / Getty Images

Casey Wittenberg doesn't reside in Las Vegas or play poker for a living, but he sure does love to gamble. Case in point: taking a start on the Nationwide Tour over the opportunity to tee it up in his first PGA Tour event since the 2010 FedEx St. Jude Classic.

On paper, it seemed like a no-brainer. After making it into the Travelers Championship field by way of his T-10 finish at the U.S. Open, very few expected the 27-year-old to pass a $6 million purse in Cromwell, Conn., to play for $600,000 in Wichita, Kan.

But Wittenberg made the calculated gamble anyway, foregoing the potentially large payday on the PGA Tour to head to Kansas for Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open. Lucky for him, the decision paid off with a two-shot victory and $108,000 check.

Wittenberg went from looking completely insane to a genius in four days. The win not only allowed him to pick up his second of the season (we won earlier this year at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open), but also moved him from 10th to second on the Nationwide Tour money list, all but securing his PGA Tour card for 2013.

If he can somehow win for a third time on the Nationwide Tour, he'd not only lock up his card but be automatically promoted to the PGA Tour for the rest of the 2012 season. (Side note: Only nine players in Nationwide Tour history have earned "battlefield promotion.")

Things are certainly looking up for the twentysomething who was being compared to former teenage phenom Ty Tron early in his professional career. He has a big gamble to thank for making that possible.

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