Monday, November 9, 2020
Under normal circumstances, the winner of the event prior to the Masters gets a phone call Sunday afternoon with an invitation to play in Augusta four days later. But these aren't normal circumstances, and Carlos Ortiz will have to wait until April for his invitation.
Since this week's Masters is a holdover from last April, the field will be made up of those who were eligible seven months ago; Ortiz was not one of the elite group.
Ortiz won the Houston Open by two strokes over Hideki Matsuyama and Dustin Hoffman, canning a 22-foot birdie putt on the final hole to cement the victory after going to the 18th hole with a one-stroke lead. The Mexican hadn't won a PGA event in his first 117 tries, but No. 118 turned out to be the charm. He hadn't won a tournament of any kind in six years, dating back to when he won three times on what is now the Korn Ferry Tour and received an exemption onto the PGA Tour.
Ortiz fired a 5-under-par 65 in the finale and wound up at 13 under par. To get to 11 under, Matsuyama shot 7-under 63 yesterday, Dustin 5-under 65. Sam Burns, the 54-hole leader, closed with a 2-over-72 and dropped into a tie for seventh, along with Jason Day, who shot 71.
Talor Gooch also shot 63 Sunday and tied for fourth at 9 under, and Mackenzie Hughes posted a 63 and was in the tie for seventh.
Seminole Brooks Koepka closed with a pair of 65s over the weekend and made a big jump up the leader board into a tie for fifth at 8 under.
A stellar field is assembled for Augusta, including Tiger Woods and nine former champs all currently playing the Champions Tour - Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Sandy Lyle, Vijay Singh, Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize, Mike Weir, Jose Maria Olazabal and Lee Westwood.
Koepka will be the only Seminole playing and Billy Horschel the lone Gator.
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