Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Mexico Open: Alvaro Ortiz having “enjoyable” with hometown followers

The PGA Tour doesn’t stage occasions in Mexico usually, so Alvaro Oritz is taking full benefit of his alternative at this week’s Mexico Open at Vidanta.

And he’s having enjoyable doing so—as a sponsor’s exemption, no much less.

Ortiz, who hails from Guadalajara, Mexico, shot up the leaderboard Friday, due to his splendid 7-under 64. He made 5 birdies on the again aspect—his opening 9—and made a terrific 30-footer for eagle on the par-5 sixth.

He now holds a share of the lead at 11-under with Matt Wallace of England and Finland’s Sami Valimaki on the halfway level.

“It’s superior to have my household, to have my pals, to have my folks. We don’t get to play a lot in Mexico, so it’s fairly cool to be out right here, to be taking part in effectively and really feel the help from them,” Ortiz stated after Friday’s second spherical.

“It’s extra enjoyable, it’s extra enjoyable [playing in Mexico]. I don’t get to try this usually. Like many individuals, the yelling, it’s enjoyable. I don’t get that a lot within the States, but it surely’s fairly cool to see how many individuals are coming, and hopefully, will probably be packed this weekend.”

Ought to Ortiz stay in competition all through the weekend, the galleries at Vidanta Vallarta will flock to the 28-year-old Mexican.

Mexico Open at Vidanta - Round Two, Alvaro Ortiz

Photograph by Hector Vivas/Getty Photographs

It’ll come all the way down to his putter, and if it will probably stay scorching. Proper now, Ortiz ranks third within the area in strokes gained placing. However he has given himself loads of alternatives, too.

“I feel undoubtedly the ball-striking, it was very stable from tee to inexperienced,” Ortiz stated when requested what went effectively for him on Friday.

“I truly putted very effectively [too]. I didn’t make as many putts as yesterday, however I undoubtedly really feel very stable on the market. Simply very snug. I’ve been working actually arduous on my swing this previous yr, and it’s good to see the arduous work paying off.”

After lacking the lower on the Mexico Open final yr, Ortiz spent his 2023 season totally on the Mexican skilled golf circuit and the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.

He then made it to the ultimate levels of Q-Faculty, the place he tied for twenty first, thus incomes a Korn Ferry Tour card for the 2024 season. The highest 40 finishers—exterior of the highest 5—earned taking part in privileges on the Korn Ferry Tour this season.

“I feel I closed very sturdy on the Latin America season after which performed very effectively within the Mexican Tour, and that carried over, that momentum, to Q-Faculty,” Ortiz stated.

“Been taking part in very well. Simply excited to get this chance. Very grateful to Grupo Salinas and Vidanta, they make this occur. They invited me again, so pleased to be within the weekend.”

Ought to Ortiz go on to win, he would obtain an invite to Augusta Nationwide.

That may be fairly particular, contemplating he competed in The Masters in 2019 as an beginner after successful the Latin America Beginner Championship. Ortiz completed one stroke behind Viktor Hovland that yr; in any other case, he would have been low-amateur.

Nonetheless, Ortiz feels assured in his sport, and rightfully so. He has the expertise to succeed on the highest ranges, identical to his brother Carlos.

“[Everything] was fairly stable. From tee to inexperienced, it was pretty much as good because it could possibly be,” Ortiz stated.

“I hit the ball very effectively and simply felt very snug on the market. It was very clear, very stress-free… Glad to be within the place I’m in.”

Jack Milko is a golf workers author for SB Nation’s Taking part in Via. Make sure to take a look at @_PlayingThrough for extra golf protection. You possibly can observe him on Twitter @jack_milko as effectively.

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