WEB.COM - Chitimacha Louisiana Open Preview
From The Sports Network

DATES: Thursday, March 21st through Sunday, March 24th
SITE: Le Triomphe Country Club, Broussard, Louisiana
COURSE ARCHITECT: Robert Trent Jones Jr (1985), Steve Wenzloff (2003)
PAR: 71
YARDAGE: 7,006
Hole-By-Hole:1 - Par 5 555 Yds10 - Par 4 400 Yds
2 - Par 4 386 Yds11 - Par 3 181 Yds
3 - Par 3 225 Yds12 - Par 5 559 Yds
4 - Par 4 392 Yds13 - Par 4 446 Yds
5 - Par 5 560 Yds14 - Par 4 485 Yds
6 - Par 3 190 Yds15 - Par 4 445 Yds
7 - Par 5 544 Yds16 - Par 3 182 Yds
8 - Par 3 172 Yds17 - Par 4 378 Yds
9 - Par 4 465 Yds18 - Par 4 441 Yds
36 3,489 Yds35 3,517 Yds
Annual:  22nd
Television:  None
Defending Champion:  Casey Wittenberg (Not defending)
Runner-Up:  Fabian Gomez, Paul Claxton, Chris Riley
Tournament Record:  260 (Casey Wittenberg, 2012)
54-Hole Record:  194 (Brett Wetterich, 2003)
36-Hole Record:  127 (Wes Short, 2003)
Course Record:  60 (Brenden Pappas, 2007)
Total Purse:  $550,000
Shares:  1st Place - $99,000; 2nd Place - $59,400; 3rd Place - $37,400
2012 Finish
Casey Wittenberg260Camilo Benedetti269
Fabian Gomez268Brad Fritsch269
Paul Claxton268Rob Oppenheim269
Chris Riley268Darron Stiles269
Woody Austin269Three players at270
Past Chitimacha Louisiana Open Winners
YearWinner (Score) -- Runners-Up
2012Casey Wittenberg (260) -- Fabian Gomez, Paul Claxton, Chris Riley
2011Brett Wetterich (271) -- Andres Echavarria
2010Fabian Gomez (269) -- Kyle Reifers, Brian Vranesh, Scott Gutschewski
2009*Bubba Dickerson (274) -- Brian Vranesh
2008Gavin Coles (272) -- Kyle Thompson
2007*Skip Kendall (268) -- Paul Claxton
2006Johnson Wagner (272) -- Chad Collins
2005Ryan Hietala (270) -- Sean O'Hair
2004Jimmy Walker (272) -- Rick Price
2003Brett Wetterich (264) -- Ken Duke
2002*Steven Alker (264) -- Mike Heinen
2001Paul Claxton (271) -- Tim Petrovic, Steve Runge
2000Rob McKelvey (274) -- Ian Leggatt, Guy Hill
1999Matt Gogel (277) -- Kris Cox
1998John Wilson (274) -- Steve Flesch
1997#Joe Daley (198) -- Bobby Wadkins
1996Paul Stankowski (266) -- Greg Whisman
1995Stan Utley (268) -- Keith Fergus
1994Bill Porter (276) -- Brad Fabel
1993R.W. Eaks (273) -- Karl Kimball
1992@Sean Murphy (200) -- Tony Grimes

* - Won in Playoff

# - Rain Shortened

@ - 54-Hole Tournament

Note:Formerly called Ben Hogan Louisiana Open (1992), NIKE Louisiana
Open (1993-99), BUY.COM Louisiana Open (2000-01).

Top Contenders in the Field
Paul Claxtonmc2ndT-37mcmcmcT-2
Darron StilesT-39mcT-43T-9T-38T-13T-5
Woody Austin------------------T-5
Bubba Dickerson---mc---Wonmc3rdT-28
Shane Bertsch---------------mcT-28
Mathew Goggin---------------T-40T-44
Joseph Bramlett------------------T-50
Brice Garnett------------------T-50
Brett WetterichT-33------------Won61st
Gavin ColesT-14mcWonT-44T-55mcmc
Edward Loar------------mcmcmc
Kevin Kisner------------T-27mc---
Skip KendallmcWonmc------------
Patrick Cantlay---------------------
Kevin Foley---------------------
Sports Network Selections

Pick to Win - Edward Loar
Darkhorse - Shane Bertsch
Last Week's Pick to Win (Mathew Goggin) - Withdrew after first round
Last Week's Darkhorse (Steve Wheatcroft) - Did not play
NOTES:The fourth of 25 official Web.com Tour events begins in earnest this
week, as the Chitimacha Louisiana Open takes shape in the Pelican State. Six past champions highlight this year's field. Paul Claxton (2001), Brett Wetterich (2003, 2010), Ryan Hietala (2005), Skip Kendall (2007), Gavin Coles (2008) and Bubba Dickerson (2009) will be teeing it up at Le Triomphe Country Club, the host site for this tournament since its inception in 1992. Wetterich won the 2006 Byron Nelson Championship on the PGA Tour and was a member of the 2006 United States Ryder Cup team. The purse increased $50,000 from last year to $550,000, with the winner receiving $99,000.

This is the first Web.com Tour event in the United States this season after stops in Panama, Colombia and Chile. Kevin Foley won in Panama, while Patrick Cantlay won in Colombia and Kevin Kisner in Chile. All three players are in the field this week.

John Daly is also in the field. Daly is a 2-time major champion on the PGA Tour, winning the 1991 PGA Championship and 1995 British Open. He has played in five PGA Tour events this season, with his best finish being a tie for 50th at the Puerto Rico Open.

Last year, Casey Wittenberg carded four rounds in the 60s to claim an 8-shot victory over Fabian Gomez, Paul Claxton and Chris Riley. Wittenberg set the tournament scoring record at 24-under-par 260, four strokes better than the previous mark. He used a third-round 63 to grab the lead, and his bogey-free final round allowed him to coast to the title. The 8-stroke margin was the largest in tournament history.

Wittenberg is not on hand to defend his title, as he earned his PGA Tour card for 2013 by finishing first on the 2012 Web.com Tour money list. Wittenberg is playing at the Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour this week. His best finish this year is a tie for 15th at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

In 2011, Wetterich won his second career Louisiana Open by one stroke over Andres Echavarria after posting rounds of 67-65-70-69. Wetterich finished at 13-under-par 271 for his third career victory on the Web.com Tour.

Gomez fired a 7-under 64 in windy conditions in the final round to come from behind and win by six strokes over Kyle Reifers, Brian Vranesh and Scott Gutschewski in 2010. Gomez finished his first Web.com Tour title at 15-under- par 269. Gomez's 64 was the low round of the final day by three strokes. Only 19 of 66 players broke par in the final round. Gomez became the second player from Argentina to win on the Web.com Tour, joining Miguel Carballo, who captured the 2007 Panama Movistar Championship.

In 2009, former U.S. Amateur champion Dickerson birdied the first playoff hole to beat Brian Vranesh. Dickerson, the 2001 Amateur champion, carded rounds of 71-64-69-70. He holed a 14-foot birdie putt at the par-4 18th in the playoff for his first Web.com Tour win. The playoff was the third in tournament history. The others came in 2002 when Steven Alker defeated Mike Heinen, and in 2007 when Kendall defeated Claxton.

Kendall ousted Claxton on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff in 2007. Kendall picked up his first Web.com Tour win since winning his first two titles in 1994. Kendall's span between wins on the Web.com Tour -- 12 years, eight months and 27 days -- broke the tour record by more than two years. Omar Uresti broke Kendall's record the following week at the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship when he won 12 years, 11 months and eight days after his last victory.

Paul Stankowski became the first player to win a Web.com and PGA Tour event in the same year back in 1996. He accomplished the feat in consecutive weeks, winning the Louisiana Open on the Web.com Tour and the BellSouth Classic on the PGA Tour.

When Stan Utley (1995) and Jimmy Walker(2004) won in Louisiana, they both made miraculous comebacks. Both players were eight shots back after three rounds, before storming back to victory.

Craig Perks, who won the Players Championship in 2002, was an assistant professional at this golf course from 1991-93. Perks attended college at nearby Louisiana Lafayette, and upon retiring from the PGA Tour in 2007, was named Director of Instruction at Le Triomphe.

The Web.com Tour travels to Brazil in two weeks for the inaugural Brasil Classic at Sao Paulo Golf Club.

03/19 16:39:32 ET

As of March 19, 2013, at 04:39 PM ET
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