It’s a historic win for Carlos Ortiz…
The 29-year-old Mexican professional golfer holed two long birdie putts from off the green to take the lead, then stayed strong down the stretch and delivered the winning shots for a 5-under 65 and a two-shot victory in the Houston Open.
Ortiz, a three-time winner on what was then the Web.com Tour in 2014, became the first Mexican to win on the PGA Tour since Victor Regalado in 1978 at the Quad Cities Open.
Ortiz played the final round alongside a former No. 1 player in Jason Day. He spent the back nine locked in a battle with the current No. 1, Dustin Johnson.
He pulled ahead for good with a 6-iron so good Ortiz started walking after it on the par-5 16th. Ortiz had to settle for a two-putt birdie from 8 feet and he finished in style with a 20-foot birdie for a two-shot victory over Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the other guys. I wasn’t worried,” Ortiz said. “I knew if I played good I was going to be hard to beat. … I knew I was capable of doing that because I know myself, but obviously validating that and then showing it, it definitely gets me more confidence. I’m just happy the way it played out.”
Ortiz held back tears as he waited for his playing partners to putt. The victory sends him to the Masters next April. He was there a year ago to watch his brother, Alvaro, who qualified by winning the Latin American Amateur.
“It feels awesome,” said Ortiz, who grew up in Guadalajara and played at North Texas with Sebastian Munoz of Colombia, the most recent Latin American winner on tour. “This is like my second home. There was a bunch of people cheering for me, Latinos and Texans. I’m thankful for all of them.”