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Carlos Ortiz won his first TOUR title in his 118th start. (Getty Images)

Teeing Off

HOUSTON NO PROBLEM FOR ORTIZ

Memorial Park will always be memorable for Carlos Ortiz. The 29-year-old grinder stared down Dustin Johnson, Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama to win the Vivint Houston Open by two shots for his first PGA TOUR victory. Ortiz also made history, becoming just the third player from Mexico to win on TOUR. “It’s a really hard golf course so I was trying to stay patient,” an emotional Ortiz said after shooting 5-under 65. “I was trying to mind my own business. I made some huge putts and didn’t miss many shots.” Ortiz had some followers in the crowd due to the event allowing a limited number of spectators. He attended the University of North Texas before turning pro in 2013, which made the victory that much more special. “I’m happy it happened here in Houston,” Ortiz said. “Texas is like my second home state.” Ortiz picked up 500 FedExCup points and moved up 139 spots to No. 7 in the standings.

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A MASTERS UNLIKE ANY OTHER

One of spring’s best traditions morphs into a fall classic. While the Masters has a new date, the amount of excitement remains unchanged entering this week in Augusta, Georgia. Defending champion Tiger Woods has held onto his Green Jacket for 19 months after capturing his 81st PGA TOUR victory (and 15th major title) in his return to glory last year. History is on the line for Woods as he looks to become the first golfer to win the Masters in back-to-back years twice (yes, twice). Jack Nicklaus (1965-66) and Nick Faldo (1989-90) achieved the feat while Woods pulled the trick in 2001-02. He also looks to tie Jack Nicklaus for the most Green Jackets of all time (six). Ninety-four golfers will tee it up at Augusta National Golf Club, including reigning FedExCup champion Dustin Johnson, two-time FedExCup winner Rory McIlroy – who’s looking to complete the career Grand Slam – and the most recent major winners, Bryson DeChambeau and Collin Morikawa. Twenty-six players are first-timers, including Morikawa and reigning PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year Scottie Scheffler. Golfers will go off split tees and there will be a morning and afternoon wave. While there will be no patrons onsite this year, ESPN’s College GameDay will air live from Augusta National on Saturday morning. The winner will receive 600 FedExCup points and slip their arms into the coveted green garment. 

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ZALATORIS’ ACCEPTANCE SPEECH (SORT OF)

It’s official. Will Zalatoris officially accepted Special Temporary Membership last week for the 2020-2021 PGA TOUR season and can receive unlimited sponsor exemptions. Zalatoris, a rising star and the Korn Ferry Tour points leader, went on a tear in his recent PGA TOUR starts. He finished T6 at the U.S. Open, T8 at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship and T5 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. At the Bermuda Championship, he needed only three points to secure Special Temporary Membership, and easily earned it with a T16. If you haven’t seen much of Zalatoris, check out this video with his season highlights.

Video Of The Week

The Turn

MIC CHECK

It feels awesome. It’s been a while since I’ve won.” – Carlos Ortiz after winning the Vivint Houston Open for his first TOUR victory. He last won in 2014, when he had three victories on the Korn Ferry Tour.

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BY THE NUMBERS

1 – Score for Martin Laird on the par-3 second hole after his 141-yard tee shot found the bottom of the hole for an ace during Round 1 of the Vivint Houston Open. It marked the third hole-in-one in his PGA TOUR career. 

60th – Bogey-free round for Dustin Johnson in his TOUR career after shooting a 4-under 66 in Round 3 of the Vivint Houston Open.

253rd – Career eagle for Phil Mickelson after sinking a 193-yard shot from the fairway on the par-4 18th in Round 2 of the Vivint Houston Open. He would later miss the cut.