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September 30, 2008

Casey Wittenberg


JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Casey Wittenberg to the interview area. Thanks for stopping by. No. 12 on the Nationwide Tour Money List this year, and you've had some very good success on that tour. A recent sponsor exemption got you into the Viking Classic where that success carried you forward and finished tied for fourth a couple weeks ago and that got you into this week.
Talk a little bit about your season so far on the Nationwide Tour and how that's gotten you ready for a late-season rush.
CASEY WITTENBERG: Well, for me, obviously I came through the qualifying school last year and had conditional status on the Nationwide Tour, got into the first couple tournaments out of the country and was fortunate enough to play well enough to finish inside the Top 25 to continue my ability to be able to play out there.
Once the reshuffle came my number got good enough to where I could play every single week, and was fortunate enough to have some good events and some big tournaments out there on the Nationwide Tour. It's led me to a good position for not only the end of year out there, but it's given me a lot of confidence to be able to come out here and perform well as well.
JOE CHEMYCZ: At No. 12 on the Money List and more than $255,000 to your credit this year, your status for next year is secure, for the most part, and you will go to the PGA Tour.
But now, as the end of the year approaches, maybe talk about your schedule if you would and what you're going to concentrate on.
CASEY WITTENBERG: Well, obviously I'm still playing the Nationwide Tour. That's where my focus is. I would obviously love to be out here as well, so we're just going to take it one day at a time and see how I play this week.
If I'm able to play well enough this week where I can continue to go over into San Antonio and Vegas and some other tournaments like that I would love to pursue that.
But if I have to go back down to the Nationwide Tour wide and finish the year out down there, you know, I'm willing to do that as well.

Q. So you're saying if you finish well enough this week you're going to go on to Valero as opposed to Nationwide?
CASEY WITTENBERG: I would, yes, sir.

Q. Have you played the course so far?

Q. Yeah.
CASEY WITTENBERG: I have. It's -- I wasn't really expecting the weather. I don't think anybody was. It's a great golf course, beautiful place. I've never been to Upstate New York before, other than I've been over to Rochester and places like that, but never been in the Syracuse area.
It's a beautiful golf course. I had no idea that something like this was up here. It's in fabulous condition. We were all making the comment -- I was just playing a practice round with Joe Durant. We were all making the comment that it's like nobody's played this course for like two months. There's no divots in the fairways, there's no divots on the tees, and the greens are perfect.
So barring just absolutely terrible weather, it's going to be a really enjoyable experience, and definitely a great test of golf.

Q. What's your expectation for this week?
CASEY WITTENBERG: For this week?

Q. Yeah.
CASEY WITTENBERG: My expectations for this week. Well, I just -- I just have to wake up on Thursday and see how they are. Obviously the weather is going to dictate how you play the golf course. I think that it's going to be cold, and I'm going to have to get out here and play some good golf. Everybody is going to have to deal with the conditions and everything.
I feel like if I can execute my game plan and execute my shots that I can give myself at least an opportunity to be able to play well on Sunday.

Q. Are you still looking for a sponsor's exemption into some the Fall Series tournaments?
CASEY WITTENBERG: I would love to. Obviously my main focus is on the Nationwide Tour getting my number as good as I can get it out here for the start of next year being out here.
But, you know, I would never turn down an opportunity to be able to come out here and play with the big boys because it's obviously where I'm gonna be next year and it's where I want to be.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Had you not been as high on the Money List on the Nationwide Tour as you were, would still have taken that sponsor's exemption into the Viking?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Probably not. If I hadn't made enough money -- now that I've secured my card I probably would have thought my options a little bit more.
But Jackson is really close to home for me, which is Memphis Tennessee. It was kinda nice to have some friends and family down there. Both my parents came and watched me.
It was an enjoyable experience. They gave me a sponsor's exemption in there a couple years ago. I love the golf course. I'm a Southeastern kid, so I felt comfortable down there with the people and the environment, and I was fortunate enough to play well.
JOE CHEMYCZ: So this is kind of like gravy for you, isn't it?
CASEY WITTENBERG: Yeah, this has worked out really great. The Nationwide Tour is not playing this week. To be able to come up here and play in New York, which is a fun state in general, and to be able to come up and during an off-week when I'm not getting penalized at all, it's just a great opportunity.

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