Carlos Ortiz in prime position for home win at World Wide Technology ChampionshipThe 30-year-old finished one shot off the winning score at Mayakoba two seasons ago
November 05, 2021
By Adam Stanley , PGATOUR.COM
Carlos Ortiz on growing the game of golf in Latin America
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – After Carlos Ortiz fell just one shot short of winning the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba two seasons ago, he managed to take those learnings and find the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR last November.
Through 36 holes at El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Course, he’s in prime position to win again on TOUR – just this time, in his home country.
“Just the vibe that Mexican culture has that as soon as you walk in the hotel or at the airport, the golf course, you just feel this vibe from everyone that makes me have a good week, I guess,” said Ortiz after a 6-under 65 on Friday, after opening with a 67.
“I really feed off that and I really enjoy being here.”
Ortiz, who won last season’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open for his maiden TOUR title (after winning three times on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2014), was tied for a piece of the lead midday Friday.
Carlos Ortiz wins first TOUR title
He said after falling just short in 2019 (Brendon Todd topped Ortiz, Adam Long, and Vaughn Taylor by one) he learned how much of a virtue patience is, plus he managed to have a laugh at the situation, too.
“Just make more birdie,” he said with a smile when asked what he learned that week. “No, it’s more you have to stay patient and play the best you can. I think I’ve done that great this week. I’ve put two good rounds together and I just have to keep doing that for this weekend.”
The last time Ortiz teed it up on TOUR was at the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP, where he had to withdraw due to a shoulder injury. He said he’s been doing just “OK” with soreness still bothering him. But the golf course, he explained, was a good one for him to “bunt it around” with accuracy at a premium.
While there are no fans on site, there are a few people mulling about including plenty of volunteers. Ortiz said the Mexican vibe that’s been buoying him through 36 holes isn’t something he can really describe, but instead something he feels.
“It really pushes me through the week,” said Ortiz.
Perhaps, it’ll push him back into the winner’s circle. With the experience having now lifted a TOUR trophy, he’s more prepared than ever to try for another.
“I know I can make it happen, so at the end of the day I want to be in contention for the last nine holes of the tournament and that's my goal pretty much,” said Ortiz. “Just have to keep playing some good golf and enjoy myself.”