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2011 Member Claims 1st NWT Win; Six 2011 Members Top 25 on NWT-

Nationwide Tour: Broussard, La. - Less than a year removed from the NGA Pro Golf Tour, Casey Wittenberg earned his first Nationwide Tour win on Sunday.

Wittenberg, the 2007 NGA Tour Player of the Year and 2011 NGA member, dismantled Le Triomphe Country Club over four rounds and cruised to an eight-shot win over NGA Tour alums Paul Claxton and Chris Riley.

Wittenberg, who joined the NGA Tour in 2006 after a standout career at Oklahoma State, carded rounds of 66-66-63-65 for a 24-under 260 total to claim his first professional victory since 2007, when he won twice on the NGA Pro Golf Tour.

Riley, a 1997 NGA Tour player, shot a 4-under 67 on Sunday to move into a tie for second with 1993 NGA Tour member Claxton, who shot a 3-under 68 in the final round.

Rob Oppenheim and Darron Stiles spent the offseason competing on the Bridgestone and Carolina Winter Series and it appeared to pay off in the fourth Nationwide Tour event of the season as the duo finished in a tie for fifth with NGA veteran Camilo Benedetti at 15-under par.

Alums Kent Jones and Andrew Svoboda made nice moves up the leaderboard in the final round. Jones shot a 6-under 65, while Svoboda carded a 4-under 67 to finish T10 at 14-under par.

2011 NGA Tour members Shawn Stefani and Andrew Loupe finished 13-under par and tied for 13th with alum Patrick Sheehan, while fellow 2011 member Lee Williams finished 17th at 12-under par.

NGA’ers Tag Ridings, Justin Hicks and Brian Stuard finished 11-under par and tied for 18th.

Robert Streb, a 2011 NGA Tour member, joined alums Jim Herman and Justin Bolli in a tie for 24th at 10-under par.

For full-field scores, click here.

PGA Tour: Orlando, Fla. - Former NGA Tour winner Bubba Watson shot a final-round 72, but the lanky left still moved up five spots in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Sunday afternoon.

Watson, who won the 2004 Michelob Ultra Classic, finished with rounds of 69-70-72-72 for a 5-under 283 and finished T4 with alum Kevin Na.

Jim Furyk, a 1992 NGA Tour member, shot a 2-under 70 at Bay Hill in the final round to move from T25 into a tie for 11th. Former NGA Tour Player of the Year Zach Johnson also finished T11 at 4-under par.

NGA alum and PGA Tour rookie Brian Harman posted one of the lowest rounds of the day to jump 30 spots in the standings. Harman, who earned over $18,000 in just two NGA starts last season, shot a 4-under 68 to join NGA Tour winner Chris Stroud in a tie for 15th.

Alum John Rollins finished T20, while 2010 NGA’er Matt Every finished T24.

For full-field scores, click here.  

Eight 2011 NGA Tour Members Top 20 in Louisiana-

Nationwide Tour: Broussard, La. - This time last year, Casey Wittenberg was sharpening his skills on the NGA Pro Golf Tour. Now, after a third-round 63 on Saturday, Wittenberg is only one round away from picking up his first Nationwide Tour victory.

Wittenberg, a 2011 NGA Tour member, had six birdies and one eagle at Le Triomphe Country Club in the third round en route to an 8-under round and an 18-under par total. The three-time NGA Tour winner is four shots ahead of NGA’ers Darron Stiles and Camilo Benedetti in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.

Stiles, who posted four top-five finishes on the Carolina Winter Series in 2012, shot a 6-under 65 in the third round to move from T11 into a tie for second at 14-under par with NGA Tour veteran Benedetti, who shot a 1-under 70.

Former NGA Tour members Paul Claxton and Rob Oppenheim both carded 3-under 68s in the third round and are T4 at 13-under par going into the final round.

Andrew Loupe, a 2011 NGA Tour member, is making some noise in his old stomping ground. Loupe, a former LSU standout, shot a 5-under 66 to move into a tie from T27 into a tie for ninth.

Fellow 2011 members Will Wilcox and Shawn Stefani are 10-under par and tied for 12th with alums Andrew Svoboda, Patrick Sheehan and Joe Durant, while a gaggle of 2011 members are tied for 20th.

Steve LeBrun, Lee Williams, Josh Broadaway and Robert Streb, who all played on the NGA Tour in 2011, are 9-under par and tied for 20th with alums Brad Adamonis, Justin Hicks, Brian Stuard and former POY Will MacKenzie.

For full-field scores, click here.

 PGA Tour: Orlando, Fla. - NGA Tour alum Kevin Na was one of the few golfers to shoot a sub-70 round in the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Saturday.

Na shot a 3-under 69 to move from T15 into a tie for seventh and pulled to within five shots of leader Tiger Woods going into the final round.

Former NGA Tour winners Bubba Watson, Chris Stroud and Zach Johnson will start the final round 5-under par and tied for ninth with alum Sean O’Hair. Watson, Johnson and Stroud shot even-par 72s, while O’Hair carded a 2-under 70 on Saturday.

Gary Woodland, a 2008 NGA Tour member, also shot a 2-under 70 to move into a tie for 17th at 3-under par. Alums Josh Teater, Jim Furyk and John Rollins are T25 and 2-under par after three rounds of play.

For full-field scores, click here.  

Six 2011 members Top 30 in Louisiana-  

Nationwide Tour: Broussard, La. - March 23, 2012 - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour member Camilo Benedetti backed up his opening-round 66 with an 8-under 63 in the second round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open to jump from a tie for ninth into the outright lead on Friday.

Benedetti, a five-year veteran of the NGA Tour, traversed Le Triomphe Country Club without a blemish in the second round and carded eight birdies. After two rounds, the former University of Florida standout is 13-under par and one shot clear of Brenden Pappas.

Casey Wittenberg, a 2011 NGA Tour member, also made a nice leap up the leaderboard on Friday. The former NGA Tour winner carded a 5-under 66 to move from T9 into a tie for third with former NGA members Rob Oppenheim, Doug Barron, Paul Claxton and Joe Durant. The quintet are 10-under par heading into the weekend.

Will MacKenzie, a former NGA Player of the Year, slipped from first to T9 after shooting a 1-under 70 on Friday. Alum Patrick Sheehan is also T9 at 9-under par.

NGA Tour Carolina Series winner Darron Stiles shot a 6-under 65 to join alums Shaun Micheel and Andrew Svoboda in a tie for 11th at 8-under par.

2011 NGA members Robert Streb and Shawn Stefani moved inside the top 20 after stellar second rounds. Streb shot a 4-under 67, while Stefani shot a 6-under 65. Both golfers are 7-under par and tied for 16th with alums James Sacheck, Brian Stuard, Chris Riley, Justin Bolli, Shane Bertsch, Fernando Mechereffe, Justin Hicks and Jim Herman.

Fellow 2011 NGA members Scott Parel, Russell Knox and Andrew Loupe are 6-under par and T27 going into the weekend.

For full-field scores, click here.

PGA Tour: Orlando, Fla. - Former NGA Tour winner Bubba Watson carded a 2-under 70 in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational and will start the weekend five shots behind leaders Charlie Wi and Tiger Woods.

Watson, who won the 2004 NGA Michelob Ultra Classic, is 5-under par and tied for sixth with fellow NGA Tour winners Chris Stroud and Zach Johnson.

Johnson, a former NGA Tour POY, shot a 4-under 68 on Friday, while Stroud carded a 3-under 69.

Alums Kevin Na and Sean O’Hair will start the weekend T15 and 3-under par, while former NGA Tour winner Camilo Villegas is 2-under par and T23.

Past NGA winner Kris Blanks is 1-under and tied for 29th with 2008 member Gary Woodland. Former members Jim Furyk and Skip Kendall are T35 at even par.

For full-field scores, click here.  

Nine 2011 Members Top 25 in NWT Event-

Nationwide Tour: Broussard, La. - Former NGA Pro Golf Tour Player of the Year Will MacKenzie shot an 8-under 63 in the first round of the Chitimacha Louisiana Open to earn a share of first place on Thursday.

After making the turn at 1-under par, MacKenzie, a three-year NGA veteran, torched the back nine, carding three birdies and two eagles en route to an 7-under 29. MacKenzie is tied for first with Brenden Pappas.

Former NGA Tour players Rob Oppenheim, Stephen Gangluff, Brad Adamonis and Chris Riley finished the first round T4 after recording 6-under 65s at Le Triomphe Country Club on Thursday.

Scott Parel and Casey Wittenberg posted the best rounds of the 17 NGA 2011 members that are in the field, shooting 5-under 66s to join alums Camilo Benedetti, Justin Bolli, Shane Bertsch and Michael Letzig in a tie for ninth.

Andrew Loupe and Jeff Curl, who were also 2011 NGA Tour members, finished the day with 4-under 67s and tied for 15th with former players Joe Durant, Paul Claxton, Jim Herman, Patrick Sheehan, Matt McQuillan and Jim Herman.

Fellow 2011 members Will Wilcox, Russell Knox, Brendan Gielow, Steve LeBrun and Robert Streb shot 3-under 68s and are tied for 25th with NGA’ers Tag Ridings, Andre Stolz, Brian Stuart, Derek Fathauer, Jeff Cuzzort and Doug Barron.

For full-field scores, click here.

PGA Tour: Orlando, Fla. - Former NGA Tour players Bubba Watson and Sean O’Hair carded 3-under 69s in the opening round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational to earn a share of fourth on Thursday.

Watson, a former NGA Tour winner, had two birdies, one bogey and an eagle, while O’Hair, who played on the NGA Tour in 2001, had seven birdies, two bogeys and a double at Bay Hill.

Former NGA Tour winner Chris Stroud shot a 2-under 70 to stay within four shots of leader Jason Dufner after the first round.

Former NGA Players of the Year Chad Campbell and Zach Johnson opened the event with 1-under 71s to join alums John Rollins, Skip Kendall and former NGA winner Kris Blanks in a tie for 16th on Thursday.

Fellow NGA winner Brian Gay shot an even-par 72 and is tied for 27th with alum Jeff Maggert and 1992 NGA member Jim Furyk.

For full-field scores, click here.  

17 NGA 2011 Members in Nationwide Field-

Myrtle Beach, S.C. - March 21, 2012 - The NGA Pro Golf Tour will return to action at next week’s Cutter Creek Classic presented by Bojangles, but fans of the No. 3 tour in the country won’t have to look hard to find someone to cheer for this weekend as nearly 150 current and former NGA Tour players will be split between the PGA and Nationwide Tours.

In fact, the Nationwide Tour’s Chitimacha Louisiana Open looks like an NGA Tour event with over 60 percent of the field earning their stripes on the NGA Tour. All told, 87 current and former NGA Tour players are in the field and seven more are alternates for the Nationwide Tour event. Even more impressive is the fact that 17 players in the field were 2011 members of the NGA Tour.

Russell Knox, Will Wilcox, Josh Broadaway, Matt Hendrix and Casey Wittenberg all started 2011 on the NGA Tour before playing their way onto the No. 2 tour in the country. Knox secured PGA Tour status for 2012, while Wilcox, Broadaway, Hendrix and Wittenberg easily secured their Nationwide Tour playing privileges in 2012.

Stuart Anderson, Ben Briscoe, Reid Edstrom, Mike Lavery, Steve LeBrun, Shawn Stefani, Philip Pettitt Jr., Robert Streb, Lee Williams and Chris Wilson spent the entire 2011 season on the NGA Tour before earning 2012 Nationwide Tour cards through Q-School.

Joining the aforementioned group in the field will be fellow 2011 members Brendan Gielow and Andrew Loupe, who were able to earn spots in the field through the Monday qualifier.

NGA Tour alumni have won two of the first three events of the season on the Nationwide Tour. Skip Kendall, a three-year NGA vet, won the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship to start the year, while alum Edward Loar won the Panama Claro Championship.

According to the PGATour.com’s Power Rankings, Loar, who played on the NGA Tour in 2000-01, stands a good chance of a going two-for-two on the Nationwide Tour this season as the 2012 PGA Tour member is ranked No. 4 in the Power Rankings. Paul Claxton, a 1993-94 NGA member, holds down the No. 3 ranking after a hot start to the season. Claxton, the 2001 LA Open champ, has a T13, T51 and a third-place finish in the first three events of the season.

A pair of NGA Tour alumni also hold down spots in the Power Rankings for the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Jim Furyk, a 1992 NGA member and 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year, earned the No. 5 ranking this week after narrowly missing his first victory of the season last week. Furyk has two top-15s at Bay Hill in his last two starts.

Bubba Watson, a 2004 NGA Tour winner, returns to action two weeks after earning a second-place finish in the WGC-Cadillac event. Watson currently leads the PGA Tour in distance and greens in regulation.

Mark Wilson, a three-time NGA Tour winner, and George McNeill, a 1998-99 NGA member, have already cracked the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour this season, giving NGA Tour alums 17 PGA wins in 18 months on golf’s grandest stage.

Forty-eight NGA Tour alums have spots in the field, while five past players are listed as alternates. Of the 53 NGA’ers in Orlando, Fla., for the prestigious event, 20 have won on the NGA Tour.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour is the No. 3 Men’s Professional Golf Tour in the United States after the PGA and Nationwide Tours and is the No. 1 recommended developmental tour by more PGA and Nationwide Tour Professionals.

The NGA has helped hundreds of professionals acquire their PGA, Euro, Nationwide, and Champions Tour cards. In fact, NGA alumni have won an incredible Fourteen (14) “Major” Championships.

NGA Alumni include: 2011 PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley; 2010 PGA Tour Player of the Year and 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk; 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink; 2009 US Open Champion Lucas Glover; 2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson; 2003 PGA Champion Shaun Micheel; 2003 British Open Champion Ben Curtis; two-time US Open Champion Lee Janzen; British Open and PGA Champion John Daly; British Open Champion Tom Lehman; PGA Champion David Toms; 2003 Tour Championship Winner Chad Campbell; 2010 NGA Player of the Year Michael Thompson; 2011 PGA winners Sean O'Hair, Scott Piercy, Scott Stallings, Bubba Watson, Mark Wilson, Gary Woodland and many, many more.

At this year’s PGA Tour Qualifying School, 52% of those earning full exempt status on the PGA Tour and 67% of those earning full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour were past NGA Professionals. Another 16 NGA Professionals advanced to the PGA Tour for 2012 by finishing inside the Top 25 on the Nationwide Tour money list, including 2011 NGA members Ted Potter Jr., Russell Knox and Billy Hurley III.

The NGA Pro Golf Tour, established in 1988, predates the Nationwide Tour as the longest running developmental tour in golf. For more information on the NGA or the NGA Pro Golf Tour, please visit our website at www.NGATOUR.com or contact our Tour Office at (800) 992-8748. 

NGA Tour Alumni in Arnold Palmer Invitational:

Kris Blanks

Chad Campbell

Stewart Cink

Erik Compton

Robert Damron

Brendon de Jonge

Ken Duke

Matt Every

Martin Flores

Jim Furyk

Robert Gamez

Robert Garrigus

Brian Gay

Tom Gillis

Brian Harman

Billy Hurley III

Lee Janzen

Brandt Jobe

Zach Johnson

Jerry Kelly

Skip Kendall

J.J. Killeen

Jason Kokrak

Spencer Levin

Jeff Maggert

John Mallinger

Scott McCarron

William McGirt

George McNeill

Kevin Na

Sean O’Hair

Ryan Palmer

Rod Pampling

Scott Piercy

Ted Potter Jr.

Kyle Reifers

John Rollins

Sam Saunders

Scott Stallings

Chris Stroud

Josh Teater

Michael Thompson

Brendon Todd

David Toms

Camilo Villegas

Bubba Watson

Boo Weekley

Mark Wilson

Gary Woodland

Alts:

Michael Bradley

Roberto Castro

James Driscoll

Heath Slocum 

Current and Past NGA Tour Players in Louisiana Open:

Brad Adamonis

Brian Anderson

Stuart Anderson (2011 Member)

Alex Aragon

Ryan Armour

Doug Barron

Camilo Benedetti

Shane Bertsch

Justin Bolli

David Branshaw

D.J. Brigman

Ben Briscoe (2011 Member)

Josh Broadaway (2011 Member)

Michael Clark II

Paul Claxton

Chad Collins

Michael Connell

Jeff Curl

Jeff Cuzzort

Glen Day

Brent Delahoussaye

Bubba Dickerson

Joe Durant

Reid Edstrom (2011 Member)

Derek Fathauer

Steve Friesen

Stephen Gangluff

Brendan Gielow (2011 Member)

Jeff Gove

Nathan Green

Scott Gutschewski

Travis Hampshire

Matt Hendrix (2011 Member)

Russell Henley

Jim Herman

Justin Hicks

Craig Hocknull

Kent Jones

John Kimbell

Russell Knox (2011 Member)

Cliff Kresge

Mike Lavery (2011 Member)

Steve LeBrun (2011 Member)

Michael Letzig

Luke List

Edward Loar

Andrew Loupe (2011 Member)

Will MacKenzie

Ben Martin

Len Mattiace

Matt McQuillan

Fernando Mechereffe

Shaun Micheel

James Nitties

Rob Oppenheim

Scott Parel

Carl Paulson

Philip Pettitt Jr. (2011 Member)

Aron Price

Jeff Quinney

Jim Renner

Tag Ridings

Chris Riley

Anthony Rodriguez

James Sacheck

Phil Schmitt

Richard Scott

Patrick Sheehan

Michael Sim

Michael Smith

B.J. Staten

Shawn Stefani (2011 Member)

Andre Stolz

Robert Streb (2011 Member)

Brian Stuard

Andrew Svoboda

Hudson Swafford

Roger Tambellini

Kyle Thompson

Jerod Turner

Alan Wagner

Ron Whittaker

Will Wilcox (2011 Member)

Lee Williams (2011 Member)

Chris Wilson (2011 Member)

Casey Wittenberg (2011 Member)

Tim Yelverton

Alts:

Vance Veazey

Ewan Porter

Ryan Hietala

Rick Price

Nate Smith

Bryan DeCorso

Tom Hoge