Ortiz tops leaderboard at Latin America Amateur

PHOTO BY RAZORBACK SPORTS COMMUNICATIONS

SANTIAGO, Chile. — When the dust settled on Monday, Razorback golfer Alvaro Ortiz found himself alone atop the leaderboard at 4-under heading into Tuesday’s final round of the Latin America Amateur Championship at Prince of Wales Country Club.

On the difficult 18th hole, which four of the top five players bogeyed, Ortiz rolled in a clutch 10-footer for par to cap a 1-under 70 and give him a one-shot lead on the field, which includes the No. 1 amateur player in the world in Joaquin Niemann from Chile.

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With rounds of 69-70-70 – 209 (-4), Ortiz is in the driver’s seat heading into the final round where the winner of the Latin America Amateur will be invited to the 2018 Masters Tournament and receive exemptions into the final stages of qualifying for The Open and U.S. Open in 2018.

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The Zapopan, Mexico, native finds himself in familiar territory after holding a 54-hole lead at the event last year before finishing runner-up in a playoff.

“I’ll definitely going to draw on my experiences from last year heading into tomorrow,” Ortiz said. “I’m an emotional player and staying calm and hitting that putt on 18 was big for me.”

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Ortiz has 12 birdies in the first three rounds, with seven of those coming on the front nine. He will tee off tomorrow morning in the final group at 6:28 a.m. CT.

Live coverage of the final round starts at 9 a.m. CT on ESPN2.