Ortiz, Green at the top after three rounds at El Bosque
April 13, 2014
By Royce Thompson, PGATOUR.COM
- Nathan Green holds a share of the lead with Carlos Ortiz after Saturday's round. (Kevin Cox/Getty Images)
LEON, Mexico – Carlos Ortiz fired a 6-under 66 that included an eagle at the par-5 18th hole at El Bosque Country Club to move into a tie for the lead with Nathan Green (70) after 54 holes of the El Bosque Mexico Championship.
Tied for third at 8-under 208 are Jason Gore (67), Jonathan Randolph (69) and second-round leader Justin Thomas (72).
D.J. Brigman (65) and Brad Schneider (69) are two off the pace heading into Sunday.
Ortiz really put himself behind in a hurry after opening the tournament with a 2-over 74. After that round the University of North Texas alum talked it over with his caddie and they both agreed a new approach was necessary to allow for more birdie opportunities the rest of the week.
“After the first day we just took a more conservative strategy,” he said. “I just tried to aim for the middle of the greens to give myself a chance.”
Ortiz’s willingness to not be so aggressive on approach shots really paid off on Saturday afternoon. The Texas resident only recalled missing one putting surface the entire third round. Ortiz stood in the middle of the fairway on hole 18 two shots behind then solo leader Green. The 22-year-old pro pulled an 8-iron for his second shot from 176 yards and hit it to two feet from the cup.
After the round the Mexican native was really happy with what he accomplished, especially with the fan support he has received this week.
“I hit the ball great today,” he said. “To be able to play good in front of my family and friends feels really good.”
Ortiz has already won once this year, at the Panama Claro Championship, and knows what it feels like to be in contention. The Web.com Tour rookie wants to keep it simple and execute his strategy in hopes of another victory Sunday afternoon.
“Being in the lead there is going to be a lot of pressure,” he said. “I’m going to try and do the same thing I did today. Which is stick to my game plan, stay focused and in the moment.”
Green has not had the success that Ortiz has had this season. This is the first cut the Australian has made this year on Tour. Green admitted to being a little shocked with the way he’s performed this week.
“It’s a bit of a surprise,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting a great deal. It feels pretty satisfying.”
Through 54 holes Green has really struggled with his tee shots. The PGA TOUR veteran knows that he needs to find something if he wants to have a chance coming down the stretch on Sunday.
“I know I’m going to have to play well tomorrow to get it done,” he said. “I’m going to go to the range and try and work on it a little bit. Hopefully I’ll have something for tomorrow.”
Third-Round Notes & Quotes:
• Saturday weather: Mostly sunny. Wind SW - WSW 7-15 mph. High of 90.
• Ortiz is going for his second win this season on Tour. His first win came at the Panama Claro Championship in just his fourth start of the year.
• Ortiz’s final round scoring average on Tour this season is 67.33.
• With a victory tomorrow Ortiz would take over the No.1 spot on the Regular Season money list.
• Ortiz was the only player in the field to record an eagle on the 18th hole in the third round.
• Ortiz has a chance to become the first Mexican native to win this event.
• This is the first cut Green has made this season in four starts on the Web.com Tour. Green also missed the cut in the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com on the PGA TOUR.
• The last time Green was in the top five on a Web.com Tour leaderboard heading into the weekend was the 2005 Albertsons Boise Open.
• The last time Green posted consecutive rounds under par in the first 36 holes of a Tour event was the 2013 Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship
• In 2013 Green finished T15 at this event with rounds of 69-73-71-69.
• Gore fired a bogey-free 67 in the third round.
• Gore finished runner-up to Ortiz at the Panama Claro Championship earlier this season.
• Gore has won a record seven times on the Web.com Tour, his last victory came at the 2010 Miccosukee Championship.
• On the PGA TOUR this season, Gore has posted a T4 at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com and a T19 at the Shell Houston Open.
• Thomas had an up and down day and needed a 18-foot birdie at the last to post an even-par round.
• Thomas’ final round scoring average this season on Tour is 69.00
• Thomas has made the cut in all five events he has played on the Web.com Tour this year. He has finished T5 at the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship, T12 at the Chile Classic, T15 at the Panama Claro Championship and T5 at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.
• At just 20 years of age, Thomas has a chance to become the third youngest winner of a Web.com Tour event.
• Randolph’s made five cuts in six events played this year on Tour.
• Randolph is coming off his best finish in his last event played on Tour, a T3 at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by Nacher.
• Randolph’s final round scoring average this year is 69.00.
• This is the closest Randolph has been to a 54-hole leader this season on Tour.
• This is the first cut Brigman has made this season in five starts on Tour
• This is the lowest round Brigman has recorded on Tour since the final round of the 2013 Cox Classic (64).
• Brigman is making his sixth start at the El Bosque Mexico Championship; he has made the cut all six times. His final round scoring average from his five previous starts is 72.6.
• Brigman’s best finish at this tournament was a T9 in 2013.
• Players who posted bogey-free rounds this week:
R1 – Brad Schneider (66)
R1 – Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (70)
R3 – D.J. Brigman (65), Whee Kim (65), Jose de Jesus Rodriguez (68), Jason Gore (67), Brad Schneider (69)
• Nine Mexico natives are playing on the weekend. Here are their results through the third round:
Position Name Scores (To par) 1 Carlos Ortiz 74-67-66 – 207 (-9) T18 Roberto Diaz 72-73-68 – 213 (-3) T18 Jose de Jesus Rodriguez 75-70-68 – 213 (-3) T38 Oscar Fraustro 74-68-73 – 215 (-1) T38 Sebastian Vazquez 68-73-74 – 215 (-1) T38 Antonio Serna 74-71-70 – 215 (-1) T47 Andres Garcia 71- 73-72 – 216 (E) T54 Yoshio Yamamoto 69-75-74 – 218 (+2) T64 Juan Pablo Hernandez 73-72-74 – 219 (+3)
NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour will be idle next week and then return to action for the WNB Golf Classic April 24-27 in Midland, Texas where Alex Aragon was the winner in 2013. Aragon fired a 6-under par 66 and came from five shots back to win by one stroke and earn his second career win.