(Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) – Mexico’s Carlos Ortiz was named the 2014 Web.com Tour Player of the Year in a vote of his fellow competitors, it was announced today by PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee.
The native of Guadalajara, Mexico is the first Latin American to claim Player of the Year honors on the Web.com Tour. He won three times on the Web.com Tour this year to become only the 10th player in Tour history to do so in a single season. His victories came at the Panama Claro Championship in February, in his home country at the El Bosque Mexico Championship in April and the WinCo Foods Portland Open in August.
Ortiz is fully exempt on the PGA TOUR in 2014-15 as a result of his three wins during 2014.
In addition to his three wins, the young man who learned the game admiring mentor and World Golf Hall of Fame member Lorena Ochoa at Guadalajara Country Club, recorded two third-place finishes and six top-10s. Among his 58 competitive rounds, he posted one 63 and four 64s.
Ortiz, 23, reached No. 1 on the money list after his second win in Mexico and held the top spot after the next 19 tournaments, through the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in September, which was the third most consecutive weeks at No. 1 in a single season and equaled the fourth-most weeks a player has been No. 1 in a single season.
After leading the 21-event Regular Season money list, the 2013 University of North Texas graduate finished No. 2 on the combined Regular Season/Finals’ money list, with $515,403, the fourth most in Tour history.
Ortiz was joined on the Player of the Year ballot by Derek Fathauer, Adam Hadwin, Andrew Putnam and Justin Thomas.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I would like to congratulate Carlos Ortiz on an outstanding year on the Web.com Tour,” said Finchem. “Winning three times in a single season is an extraordinary achievement. Coupled with his fine play throughout the rest of the year, Carlos is a deserving honoree. I wish him all the best on the PGA TOUR. I also congratulate Derek, Adam, Andrew and Justin on their wonderful seasons and welcome them to the PGA TOUR.”
“I am honored to be voted Player of the Year by my fellow players,” said Ortiz, who receives the Jack Nicklaus Award. “I truly believe this past season on the Web.com Tour has prepared me for success on the PGA TOUR. I had a lot of fun on Tour this past year and made many friendships that I will carry well into the future. The Web.com Tour is a great tour with an incredibly high level of competition. I wish to thank its many great tournaments, sponsors, volunteers and Tour staff, all of whom made me feel very welcome at every tournament stop.”
“Carlos Ortiz has been a wonderful representative for the Web.com Tour, not only in competition but in all of his dealings with the media, tournament sponsors, fans and everyone else he’s come in contact with,” said Calfee. “He’s been an absolute pleasure to be around. His three wins and 19 consecutive weeks at No. 1 demonstrate the serious level of talent he takes with him to the PGA TOUR. We wish him well and look forward to following his progress.”
Ortiz is the 25th player to be honored as the Web.com Tour Player of the Year. He is the fourth non-U.S. born winner, following in the footsteps of Nick Flanagan (Australia), Brendon de Jonge (Zimbabwe) and Michael Sim (Australia), who were named in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.
Carlos Ortiz – 2014 Highlights
2014 WEB.COM TOUR PLAYER OF THE YEAR / JACK NICKLAUS AWARD WINNER
Won three tournaments in the same season for the first time since Michael Sim in 2009. Became only the 10th player to do so.
Finished No. 1 on the Regular Season money list with $515,403 and was No. 1 for 19 consecutive weeks, from the El Bosque Mexico Championship (April) through the next-to-last tournament, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (September). The 19 weeks was the third most in Tour history and tied for fourth-most weeks at No. 1 in a single season.
Earned $300,000 in his first six tournaments, becoming the quickest to reach $300,000 in Tour history.
Finished the season second in combined Regular Season and Finals’ earnings with $515,403, the fourth most in Tour history.
First win came in March at the Panama Claro Championship, where he shot 70-68-66-64-268 (-12) to win by four shots over Jason Gore.
Second win came two tournaments later in his native Mexico at the El Bosque Mexico Championship in Guanajuato, only 1 ½ hours from his hometown of Guadalajara. Shot 74-67-66-68-275 (-13) to win by two over Justin Thomas.
Third win came in the final Regular Season event in August, the WinCo Foods Portland Open, where he outlasted Jason Gore (again) and Adam Hadwin with rounds of 66-63-70-71-270 (-14) to win by a shot.
Had two third-place finishes (season-opening Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship in February and South Georgia Classic in May), among his six top-10s and eight top-25s.
Made the cut in 11 of 19 starts.
Was 5th in the All-Around Ranking and 6th in Total Driving.
Scoring average was 69.74 (14th on Tour).
Low round of the year was 63. Also shot 64 four times.
Born: Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
Age: 23 (April 24, 1991)
Height: 6-0 Weight: 150 lbs.
Resides: Dallas, Texas
College: University of North Texas (2013, International Studies)
Misc: Finished T15 at December 2013 Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament to earn fully exempt status through the first eight events of 2014.
Source: PGA TOUR