SAN DIEGO – Carlos Ortiz played the South Course at Torrey Pines during Saturday’s third round of the Farmers Insurance Open.
No, really, he did. Seriously, no fooling.
While most others were having their fair share of troubles on the brutal layout despite warm temperatures, little wind and plenty of sunshine, Ortiz got the best of the brute en route to a 6-under-par 66 and shot up the leaderboard into a share of the 54-hole lead with Patrick Reed.
His 66 was the day’s best round by two shots. The field averaged 73.57.
So, yes, Ortiz was entitled to flash a huge smile when asked after the round exactly what course he had played on Saturday.
“Today was a beautiful day, I don’t think it gets any better than this anywhere. I took advantage of that, I hit the ball great and made a couple putts and when you do that it normally is a good outcome,” Ortiz said. “It doesn’t really matter pretty much until the last nine holes. My goal is to be in contention going into the last round, last nine holes, and I think I’m going to have a good chance tomorrow.”
His lone bogey came on the 11th and he birdied four of his last six holes. He also wasn’t bothered by an adventurous ninth hole when he chipped in for par.
“Oh, my God, I don’t want to walk you through that. I mean, it was one of those holes that I hit it five times and I made 5,” he said. “I feel like I played three holes in one hole, it was just exhausting hitting out of the rough.
“I was really aggravated and I was really energized after making that chip. I don’t know how to react. I was mad and at the same time, happy I made it. I don’t know, it was just one of those holes that I’m glad I made 5.”
Ortiz broke through for his first PGA Tour title in last year’s Vivant Houston Open. He has risen to No. 54 in the world.
“I’m having a different perspective on the way I’m playing,” he said. “I’m taking it easier, I’m trying to see the good things in everything, not only on the golf course. I just want to come out here, give my best. If my best is 78 or 66, that’s OK, but as long as I give my best, that’s all I’m trying to do here right now.”
Ortiz shares the lead with Reed, who was involved in a rules controversy and overcame four bogeys on the back nine to birdie his final hole for a 72. The two are at 10 under.
Five players are tied for third – 2017 Farmers champion Jon Rahm (72), Sam Burns (70), Lanto Griffin (72), Viktor Hovland (73) and Adam Scott (72).
Scott had one of the wildest rounds one has ever posted. He didn’t make his first par until the fifth – and he had to get up-and-down from 50 yards to make that par. In all, he had five birdies, five bogeys, an eagle and a double bogey.
“I had 72; it felt like 80 at one point and it felt like it was going to be 67 at one point,” Scott said. “It’s a hard golf course and I got a little out of sorts coming in there, which is disappointing, but I’m a couple back and got a chance tomorrow.
“If you’re not on top of your game on these tough courses, you know it’s a pretty demanding golf course in that wind today, a lot of holes into the wind on the back nine. You miss the fairway, it’s hard to hit a green you’re so far back. So really it was a combination of those two things coming in, leaving yourself work around the greens. It was tough putting the last nine holes today.
“If I can just kind of find about 16 really good holes tomorrow and limit the damage out here, I think I’ve got a good shot at it. It can turn around quick, there’s opportunities if you hit good shots and you get penalized if you hit bad ones. I’ve got to find a bag full of good ones tomorrow.”
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2021/01/30/carlos-ortiz-south-course-lead-farmers-insurance-open/