Hovland edges Ortiz for low Amateur honors

Viktor Hovland finished with a 3-under par 285 to grab the Masters 2019 Low Amateur honors by a single stroke over Alvaro Ortiz.

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Viktor Hovland honors for Low Amateur honors at 2019 Masters

April 15, 2019: With four amateurs making the cut in the 2019 Masters, there was a sort of tournament within the Tournament over the weekend for Low Amateur honors. It was a fierce one, too, with reigning U.S. Amateur champion Viktor Hovland besting Alvaro Ortiz of Mexico, by a single stroke.

Masters Tournament Shubhankar Sharma

A native of Norway and a junior at Oklahoma State, Hovland finished with a 72-hole score of 285, leaving him at 3-under par for the competition and one better than Ortiz, who received his invite to this year’s Masters after winning the Latin America Amateur Championship in January.

UCLA sophomore Devon Bling finished the weekend 73–291, and Japan’s Takumi Kanaya finished 79–293.

“Obviously, it is very cool to be Low Amateur,” said Hovland, who shot his third 71 in a row Sunday to join an impressive group of golfers who earned that distinction in years past, among them Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and this year’s Masters winner, Tiger Woods. “But I didn’t really think about it while I was playing today. I just gave it my all on every shot. I am pretty happy with my performance, making the cut, finishing under par and showing myself and others that I can play out here. And being Low Amateur is the cherry on the top.”

Ortiz thought it would have been pretty cool, as well, and he fought gallantly, shooting a 3-under 69 in his final round, his best of the Tournament. But he came up short by a stroke, and in the end, it was a bogey on No. 9, which was his last hole on a day when competitors went off of Nos. 1 and 10 in an effort to complete play before a storm hit, that did Ortiz in.

“I hit a perfect drive on 9 and had a perfect number coming in,” the 23-year-old University of Arkansas graduate said. “But I thought Viktor was at 4-under, not 3-under, and because of that, I tried to be a little too aggressive. I pulled the shot a bit, and it did not turn because of the wind and ended up in the bunker. I hit a great bunker shot but just couldn’t make the putt.”

“Obviously, it is very cool to be Low Amateur,” said Hovland, who shot his third 71 in a row Sunday to join an impressive group of golfers who earned that distinction in years past, among them Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson and this year’s Masters winner, Tiger Woods. “But I didn’t really think about it while I was playing today. I just gave it my all on every shot. I am pretty happy with my performance, making the cut, finishing under par and showing myself and others that I can play out here. And being Low Amateur is the cherry on the top.”

Ortiz thought it would have been pretty cool, as well, and he fought gallantly, shooting a 3-under 69 in his final round, his best of the Tournament. But he came up short by a stroke, and in the end, it was a bogey on No. 9, which was his last hole on a day when competitors went off of Nos. 1 and 10 in an effort to complete play before a storm hit, that did Ortiz in.

“I hit a perfect drive on 9 and had a perfect number coming in,” the 23-year-old University of Arkansas graduate said. “But I thought Viktor was at 4-under, not 3-under, and because of that, I tried to be a little too aggressive. I pulled the shot a bit, and it did not turn because of the wind and ended up in the bunker. I hit a great bunker shot but just couldn’t make the putt.”

Alvaro Ortiz follows through at No. 10 tee during the final round of the 2019 Masters.

Alvaro Ortiz follows through at No. 10 tee during the final round of the 2019 Masters.
Ryan Young/Augusta National

That was disappointing, to be sure, but it did nothing to diminish the enjoyment Ortiz derived from his first Masters nor the satisfaction he felt with his play, especially as he gets ready to follow in the footsteps of his brother Carlos and become a tour professional.

“I am proud of the way I competed here and how I hung in there in some pretty tough conditions,” he said. “And I am looking forward to playing wherever I can get exemptions, here in the States on the PGA Tour or in Europe.”

As for Hovland, who wore the orange and black colors of Oklahoma State on Sunday, it is back to school for him. But when he returns to Stillwater, it will be with a very special trophy, the Silver Cup that goes to the Low Amateur of the Masters.

 Source; Masters.com