North Plains, Ore. – Leading money winner Carlos Ortiz of Mexico (Pictured by Getty Images) chipped in twice for eagle Friday en route to an 8-under 63 and the second-round lead at the inaugural WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft. Ortiz has posted a 13-under 129 total at the halfway point of the Web.com Tour’s final regular season stop and leads by one over fellow rookie Nicholas Lindheim (64) of Florida.
Giving chase is another rookie, Mark Hubbard, who played with Ortiz the first two days and carded a 6-under 65 at the Witch Hollow course at Pumpkin Ridge. Hubbard is alone in third place, three shots back.
Mississippi’s Matt Fast, a first-day co-leader, is at 9-under after his round of 70 and tied with Australian James Nitties (67) for fourth place. Jason Gore (68), Rob Oppenheim (68) and Scott Pinckney (68).
Ortiz, the Tour’s only multiple winner in 2014, finds himself in position to earn a third win and collect one of the Tour’s biggest bonuses, fully exempt status on the 2014-15 PGA TOUR.
“I think I’ve made a few mistakes and had too much on my mind about playing on the PGA TOUR,” said Ortiz, who collected his second win in mid-March but hasn’t had a top-10 finish in his last seven starts. “I needed to get back to playing golf and not worry so much. I’ve had a couple mistakes finishing in my last couple weeks.”
It was the 23-year old’s start that had people taking notice early Friday. Ortiz chipped in on his second hole for eagle, added three more birdies on his next four holes and closed out the opening nine with a hole-out from a greenside bunker for another eagle.
“You start to see the momentum change. I felt yesterday I struggled a bit off the tee and though I shot 5-under it was a stressful round,” said Ortiz, who hit only six of 13 fairways. “Today was very easy with those chip ins. I was hitting fairways today and that made a big difference.”
Hubbard got to watch it all first hand and gave himself a pat on the back for not getting too wrapped up in what Ortiz was, and is, doing.
“My attitude’s been great the first two days,” said the 2011 San Jose State grad. “I’ve done a good job of staying patient and sticking to my game plan, which is tough when you’re watching Carlos birdie every hole. It’s a tough course and you’re going to make some bogeys and get some bad bounces.”
Hubbard is No. 20 on the money and needs to finish well this week to remain in the top-25 of the money list, which will assure him of a PGA TOUR card for the coming season.
“I feel like a lot of stuff would have to go wrong this week for me to drop to 26th but at the same time I didn’t want to be sitting there on Sunday checking my phone every two minutes,” he said. “I knew this course would be a good fit for me and I knew my game was in the right spot.”
The one with the most to gain this weekend is Lindheim, who didn’t pick up a club until high school and has been working hard to catch up with those who started early.
“I already have enough pressure. I think everybody does, whether they say they do or not,” said the 29-year old. “I’ve got a family to support and I’m out here to make a living so you’ve got to get it done.”
Lindheim had seven mini-tour wins in Florida last year but has made only five cuts in 11 starts this year. He came into the week No. 110 on the money list and needs to be in the top-75 after Sunday’s play to qualify for the upcoming four Finals events.
“I think the pressure is more internal. Life continues,” he said. “I’ve got my friend on the bag for me and I told him at the start of the week that this may be our last event so let’s just go out and have fun and see what happens.”
So far, so good for Lindheim, who probably needs to finish in the top seven to qualify for the Finals events.
“I knew I needed to play well with where I am on the money list,” he said. “I need a good week to get into those final four.”
SECOND ROUND NOTES:
* Friday weather: Mostly sunny. Winds NW 6-12 mph. Overnight low 55. Daytime high 80.
* A total of 75 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 1-under 141.
* Saturday’s third-round play will be in twosomes off the 1st tee. Times will run from 7:50 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. PT, with an expected finish time of 6:00 p.m.
* Chris Epperson was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard.
* There were 24 of the top 25 money winners entered this week and 16 of the 24 advanced to the weekend. Among those missing the cut were Andrew Putnam (No. 2), Zack Sucher (No. 3), Andres Gonzales (No. 8), Jon Curran (No. 9), Derek Fathauer (No. 12), Bill Lunde (No. 22), Roger Sloan (No. 23) and Sebastian Cappelen (No. 25).
*Carlos Ortiz hit 9 of 13 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and had 25 putts, including just 10 on the back nine, which he played first. In two days, he has hit 28 of 36 greens and has 51 putts (T3).
* Nicholas Lindheim hit 8 of 13 fairways, 15 of 18 greens and had 29 putts.
* Lindheim’s first start of 2014 came in May at the South Georgia Classic in Valdosta (T27). In 11 starts, he has made six cuts with a T8 earlier this month at the Stonebrae Classic his lone top 10. He is No. 110 on the money list. Born in California, he lives in Satellite Beach, Fla. He is 29.
* Mark Hubbard hit 10 of 13 fairways, 14 of 18 greens and had 27 putts.
* Hubbard’s best finish of the year is a T2 at the United Leasing Championship in Evansville, Ind. in late June. He has six top 10s in 19 starts and is No. 20 on the money list. He made the cut in his last seven starts.
* Hubbard, 25, played nine PGA TOUR Canada events last year and won the Wildfire Invitational. He earned his spot on the Web.com Tour this year after finishing third on the Order of Merit.
* First-round co-leader Kent Bulle (BULL) struggled on Friday, following up yesterday’s 63 with a 4-over 75. His round included two double bogeys. He is at 4-under 138 and T22.
* Big movers of the day and making the cut were Adam Hadwin (73-65/T22) Tony Finau (72-65/T15), Chris Wilson (72-65/T15), Matt Davidson (72-66/T22), Mathew Goggin (73-67/T47) and Michael Hebert (72-66/T22).
* Sebastian Cappelen, who came to the Portland area No. 25 on the money list, shot 78 today after posting 68 yesterday. He missed the cut by five shots. Cappelen managed to hit only 11 of 26 fairways for the first two days (T145) and 18 of 36 greens in regulation (T149).
* Greg Owen rolled in a birdie putt from the fringe on the final hole for a 1-under 70. His two-day total of 141 was good enough to make the cut on the number. Owen, winner of the United Leasing Championship in June, entered the week No. 26 on the money list and that 20-25 foot birdie putt gave him a chance to regain his PGA TOUR card for the coming year.
* The top-25 money leaders after Sunday’s play will receive their PGA TOUR cards for the upcoming 2014-15 season. The top-75 money leaders will advance to the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, which begin next week at the Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind. A second set of 25 PGA TOUR cards will be given at the conclusion of the Tour Championship, the fourth of the four Finals events. Here’s how the bubble boys have fared through 36 holes.
|$ List Position – Name||Position after 36||$ List Position – Name||Position after 36|
|23 – Roger Sloan||68-76-144 MC||73 – Carlos Sainz, Jr.||69-71-140 T47|
|24 – Fabian Gomez||70-70-140 T47||74 – Nick Taylor||68-71-139 T32|
|25 – Sebastian Cappelen||68-78-146 MC||75 – Roberto Diaz||77-78-156 MC|
|26 – Greg Owen||71-70-141 T58||76 – Andres Echavarria||69-70-139 T32|
|27 – Kyle Reifers||70-69-139 T32||77 – Whee Kim||68-69-137 T15|
|28 – Aaron Watkins||69-71-140 T47||78 – Jose de Jesus Rodriguez||76-70-146 MC|
|29 – Martin Piller||71-730144 MC||79 – Josh Broadaway||72-77-149 MC|
|30 – Harold Varner III||73-72-145 MC||80 – Jeff Gove||70-69-139 T32|
* Carlos Ortiz (11, 18) and Chase Wright (4, 11) each had two eagles on Friday.
* Former Florida Gator T.J. Vogel made the 36-hole cut on the number after posting a 2-under 69 today. Vogel’s round was anything but ordinary as he turned the front nine with a 5-over 41 but rallied with a 7-under 28 on the back. Vogel ran off five consecutive birdies starting at No. 10 and then added two more at Nos. 16 and 17.
* Vogel is the third player this year to post a nine-hole score of 28. The others were Jon Curran (8-under) at the Brasil Champions and Fabian Gomez (7-under) at the Stonebrae Classic.
* All four rounds of the WinCo Foods Portland Open will be televised in high definition on Golf Channel.
* Bogey-free rounds this week:
R1 63 – Matt Fast; 66 – Byron Smith, Nicholas Lindheim; 69 – David Skinns
R2 65 – Tony Finau; 67 – Peter Tomasulo, Derek Fathauer; 68 – Alex Prugh, Justin Bolli
* Scoring Averages for the week:
Front (36) Back (35) Total (71)
R1 36.308 34.756 71.064
R2 36.335 34.929 71.265
* Eligibility for this week’s field of 156 players correlates directly from the current money list. Cameron Percy, winner of the Price Cutter Charity Championship two weeks ago and No. 13 on the money list, was the only player in the top-25 not playing this week. Four others in the top-75 are also skipped this event – Bronson Burgoon (No. 36), Alistair Presnell (No. 44), Tom Gillis (No. 47) and Aron Price (No. 52).
* Low rounds of the day:
63 – Carlos Ortiz
64 – Nicholas Lindheim
65 – Tony Finau, Adam Hadwin, Mark Hubbard, Chris Wilson
* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour heads to the Midwest for the start of the four-tournament Web.com Tour Finals. The first event will be the Hotel Fitness Championship, which will be held at Sycamore Hills Golf Club, Aug. 25-31. Last year, former Masters champion Trevor Immelman rolled in a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to finish at 20-under 268, one stroke better than Patrick Cantlay. Immelman was five strokes back starting the final round and moved to the top thanks to a 6-under 66. The win was his first since capturing the 2008 Masters.
Second Round Leaderboard
|Carlos Ortiz||66-63—129 (-13)|
|Nicholas Lindheim||66-64—130 (-12)|
|Mark Hubbard||67-65—132 (-10)|
|Matt Fast||63-70—133 (-9)|
|James Nitties||66-67—133 (-9)
Source: PGA TOUR