Starting on No. 10 early in the morning, Ortiz achieved his goal for the day, making nine birdies in a steady round of 8-under 64. Despite the low number that places him solo second, the top local player who holds the fourth spot on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica Points List, admitted there were some nerves coming into the day.
“I was a little nervous, as I didn’t feel in rhythm at the beginning of the day. Once the first couple of birdies dropped, I started to relax, and I found my rhythm with the driver. You know, if you place the ball in the right places, it’s a birdie buffet out there. I played extremely well and my putting was great,” said the University of Arkansas alum who is pleased to have his younger brother Alejandro as his caddie for the week while they keep an eye on their brother playing in Austin, Texas, at the World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play.
Did you know the Abierto Mexicano was launched in 1944? Past tournament champions include World Golf Hall of Famers Lee Trevino, Roberto De Vicenzo, Ben Crenshaw, Billy Casper and Bobby Locke. A Korn Ferry Tour event for five years, between 2008 and 2012, the tournament has been a part of the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica schedule since 2013.
This is a 72-hole event with a cut for the top-55 and ties through 36 holes.
The 61st Abierto Mexicano de Golf is supported by Unifin, CONADE and the Government of the State of Sinaloa.
There were 73 players in red numbers Thursday at the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Estrella del Mar course, where the scoring average came at 71.36 (-0.64)
This week, tournament leader Tommy Cocha is making his 110th PGA TOUR Latinoamérica career start. Cocha won his second of three Tour titles at the 2015 Mazatlán Open here at Estrella del Mar. He shot 17-under 271 that year for a two-shot win over the Colombian duo of Oscar Álvarez and Andrés Echavarría.
Following today’s 64, Álvaro Ortiz has a cumulative score of 34-under par in his last five PGA TOUR Latinoamérica rounds at Estrella del Mar. Ortiz shot 66-65-67-64 to finish as the runner-up a year ago at the 2020 Estrella del Mar Open.
Piri Borja is also playing well on his return to Estrella del Mar, where he tied for 15th last year. Starting as the first group off No. 1 at 7 a.m., Borja birdied four of the first five holes on his way to a round of 65. His only blemish of the day was a bogey at the sixth. The 35-year old from Coral Springs, Florida, currently ranks 23rd on the Tour’s Points List.