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Latin American Am Winner’s Bizarre Slow Play Revolt

Alvaro Ortiz isn’t a household name in golf circles, but he will be one of the few men to be traipsing around Augusta National Golf Club in April thanks to his win at last week’s Latin America Amateur Championship.

The 23-year-old Mexican shot a final round 6-under par 66 on the strength of a back-nine 5-under par 31 that included three birdies, an eagle and no bogies.

His back-nine surge to punch his ticket to the Masters hasn’t been the main talking point coming out of Ortiz’s victory, however. It was what happened during his third round after his threesome was put on the clock.

Competing alongside Luis Fernando Barco and Juan Cayro Delgado, Ortiz wanted to ensure that he wouldn’t be subject to a slow-play penalty, which could cost him his place atop the leaderboard, so he went hard in the other direction: he began playing ahead of his playing partners. 

After holing out on the 12th hole at Casa de Campo’s Teeth of the Dog course, Ortiz went to the 13th tee, hit his drive and began walking down the fairway before his playing partners reached the teeing ground. Ortiz then hit his approach and waited by the green as his playing partners played up the hole.

That’s when R&A rules official Grant Moir stepped in. 

“It’s a difficult situation,” Moir explained, according to GolfDigest.com. “You know he just wants to help the group get back into position.”

“He kind of had to come on to the green and told me to slow down a little bit,” Ortiz said. “I was just playing too fast.”

Whether the etiquette of the move fit the situation, the group was back in position and taken off the clock by the 15th hole. Ortiz would go on to shoot a third-round 2-under par 70 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round, which he would capitalize on to hold off Luis Gagne of LSU. 

His playing partners, Barco and Delgado, finished in third and tied for 15th respectively. 

 

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