STUNNING BURST OF SEVEN BIRDIES SEES ORTIZ STORM TO IMPERIOUS VICTORY AT INTERNATIONAL SERIES OMAN

26 Feb 2024

Carlos Ortiz from Mexico, Photo credit: Paul Lakatos/ Asian Tour

Muscat, Oman, February 25: Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz upstaged Louis Oosthuizen and Joaquin Niemann to record a convincing victory in the US$2million International Series Oman today – the first of this year’s International Series events.

Ortiz, joint leader at the start of day with Oosthuizen and with a host of big-name players breathing down his neck, showed no fear and shot a seven-under-par 65 to top the leaderboard on 19-under.

He beat one of the pre-event favourites Oosthuizen by four, after the South African carded a 69 at Al Mouj Golf, here on the magical Muscat coastline, when the wind was up.

Niemann fired a 67 to take third place outright, one stroke further back, in the Asian Tour’s second event of the season.

Ortiz brilliantly broke away from the pack with seven birdies in nine holes starting from the sixth. At the turn he had a two-shot lead thanks to birdies on six, seven and nine and left the field trailing in his wake with an eye-catching one-man show making birdies on 10, 11, 13 and 14.

He was able to stroll down the 18th with a four-shot lead over Oosthuizen.

Incredibly, Ortiz started the week with a double bogey on his opening hole on Thursday but after that he did not drop a stroke over the next 71 holes.

“With the way the wind was, I had to hold on for the first five holes,” said the 32-year-old Mexican – the former Fireballs GC player on the LIV Golf League who now plays for Torque GC, who are captained by Niemann.

Carlos Ortiz from Mexico, Photo credit: Paul Lakatos/ Asian Tour

“After that it was more downwind, so this is how this course plays and you have to take advantage of it. The wind then kind of calmed down and I attacked the pins, and I made some good putts.

“I hope this is the start of a great year. It means so much to win an International Series event. I would like to play in Majors this year and win on the LIV Golf League.”

Today’s win marks his first success on a main Tour since he claimed the Houston Open on the PGA Tour in 2020. It will also make up for losing in a sudden-death play-off for the individual title at last year’s LIV Golf Tucson. That performance did however help the Fireballs win the team title, one of two in 2023.

He becomes only the third Mexican winner on the Asian Tour. Carlos Espinosa was the first at the 1995 Canlubang Classic in the Philippines, while Abraham Ancer, also playing this week, was the next, a mere 28 years later, at last year’s star-studded season-opening PIF Saudi International powered by Softbank Investment Advisers.

“He (Ortiz) definitely turned the burners on starting the sixth hole,” said 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen.

MUSCAT, Oman: Joaquin Niemann of Chile pictured during Round Four on Sunday, February 25, 2024 during The International Series Oman at Al Mouj Golf Club. a US$2 million golf tournament is staged at Al Mouj Golf, Muscat, Oman from February 22-25, 2024. Picture By Ian Walton/Asian Tour.

Carlos Ortiz from Mexico, Photo credit: Ian Walton/ Asian Tour

“You need to do that if you want to win an event. I didn’t really hit it close enough and when I was close enough I couldn’t make the putts. I had a solid round, placed nicely but not good enough. I love the golf course. I am definitely coming back here.”

Said Niemann: “I knew I needed to play good today, obviously it was tricky with the wind. I didn’t think Carlos (Ortiz) was gonna go that low today. I gave myself a lot of chances on the back nine, but I didn’t make birdies. I fought hard, and it was a lot of fun. I would have loved to have been in that group fighting with Carlos. This is good preparation for the next two weeks on LIV.”

Mito Pereira from Chile, also on Torque GC, tied for fourth six behind the winner following a 66, along with Australian Maverick Antcliff, who fired a 65.

Japan’s Takumi Kanaya defended his title well, closing with a 68 to take a share of seventh, on 11 under.

Last week’s winner of the Malaysian Open, Spain’s David Puig, tied for 10th after a 68.

The Asian Tour travels to the Southern Hemisphere next week for the 103rd New Zealand Open presented by Sky Sport. The NZ$2million (approximately US$1.24million) event is being played on the Coronet and Remarkables Course at the Millbrook Resort, in Queenstown from February 29 – March 3. Australia’s Brendan Jones is the defending champion.

Carlos Ortiz from Mexico, Photo credit: Paul Lakatos/ Asian Tour

Scores after round 4 of the International Series Oman, being played at Al Mouj Golf, a par-72, 7,438-yard course (am – denotes amateur):

269 – Carlos Ortiz (MEX) 67-69-68-65.
273 – Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 71-66-67-69.
274 – Joaquin Niemann (CHI) 66-73-68-67.
275 – Maverick Antcliff (AUS) 74-68-68-65, Mito Pereira (CHI) 67-66-76-66.
276 – Peter Uihlein (USA) 69-66-70-71.
277 – Takumi Kanaya (JPN) 70-69-70-68, Mingyu Cho (KOR) 69-72-67-69, Matthew Wolff (USA) 71-63-73-70.
278 – David Puig (ESP) 65-75-70-68, Lucas Herbert (AUS) 70-69-67-72, Travis Smyth (AUS) 69-68-68-73, Prom Meesawat (THA) 70-70-65-73.
280 – Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 68-68-75-69, Kevin Yuan (AUS) 67-68-74-71, Kristoffer Broberg (SWE) 68-70-70-72, Justin Warren (AUS) 70-70-68-72.
281 – Scott Vincent (ZIM) 69-71-69-72, Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 70-69-67-75, Sampson Zheng (am, CHN) 68-69-68-76.
283 – Justin Quiban (PHI) 71-67-67-78.
284 – Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 68-75-69-72, Bio Kim (KOR) 69-70-73-72, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 70-72-71-71, Aaron Wilkin (AUS) 73-69-71-71, Charng-Tai Sudsom (THA) 68-74-68-74.
285 – James Piot (USA) 72-70-70-73, Branden Grace (RSA) 72-68-71-74, Ye Wocheng (CHN) 71-68-71-75, Jed Morgan (AUS) 71-73-73-68.
286 – Deyen Lawson (AUS) 71-66-75-74, Karandeep Kochhar (IND) 72-69-72-73, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 71-71-72-72, Scott Hend (AUS) 69-71-71-75, Carlos Pigem (ESP) 73-68-74-71, Dean Burmester (RSA) 69-69-71-77, Steve Lewton (ENG) 71-68-70-77.
287 – Hudson Swafford (USA) 69-69-76-73, Jbe Kruger (RSA) 69-73-69-76, Abraham Ancer (MEX) 71-70-74-72, Sebastian Munoz (COL) 71-72-72-72, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 70-74-71-72.
288 – Ervin Chang (MAS) 68-71-73-76, Austen Truslow (USA) 73-69-70-76, Lee Chieh-po (TPE) 73-69-72-74, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 73-71-70-74, Danthai Boonma (THA) 73-70-72-73.
289 – Stefano Mazzoli (ITA) 69-70-73-77, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 71-70-71-77, Suradit Yongcharoenchai (THA) 74-69-71-75, Michael Maguire (USA) 70-71-74-74, Honey Baisoya (IND) 74-68-76-71, Zach Murray (AUS) 75-69-75-70.
290 – Berry Henson (USA) 74-70-70-76, Niklas Regner (AUT) 73-67-75-75, Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 68-75-72-75, Poom Saksansin (THA) 72-71-74-73.
291 – Guntaek Koh (KOR) 73-69-70-79, Jeev Milkha Singh (IND) 75-68-70-78, Andrew Dodt (AUS) 75-69-71-76, Hanmil Jung (KOR) 73-71-75-72, Chang Wei-lun (TPE) 72-67-81-71.
292 – Sihwan Kim (USA) 69-72-73-78, Trevor Simsby (USA) 72-72-74-74, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 73-71-74-74.
293 – Manav Shah (USA) 67-73-73-80.
294 – Rashid Khan (IND) 72-70-73-79, Poosit Supupramai (THA) 75-69-78-72.
296 – Khalid Walid Attieh (am, KSA) 73-71-73-79, Angelo Que (PHI) 74-70-74-78.
297 – Chikkarangappa S. (IND) 71-70-71-85.
300 – Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 71-72-76-81.

ENDS

About The Asian Tour 

As the official sanctioning body for professional golf in Asia, the Asian Tour leads the development of professional golf across the region, enhancing the careers of its members while maintaining a commitment to the integrity of the game. The Asian Tour, through its membership of the International Federation of PGA Tours, is the only recognised pan-Asian professional golf tour in Asia. The Tour is officially recognised by the Official World Golf Ranking and provides its events with valuable ranking points for participants to be recognised on the world stage. It is also an affiliate of The R&A. Tour Partners include Rolex (Timekeeper), Habitat for Humanity (Sustainable Development Partner), Titleist (Web Partner) and FootJoy (Tour Supplier). The corporate headquarters of the Asian Tour is based in Sentosa, which is the home of Asian Golf while Sentosa Golf Club is part of an exclusive network of properties under the Asian Tour Destinations. The Tour also has an office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

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