From bedroom brawls to the PGA TOUR for Ortiz brothers

From bedroom brawls to the PGA TOUR for Ortiz brothers

As Alvaro completed his high school career and headed to Arkansas as a freshman, Carlos was thriving as a Korn Ferry Tour rookie.

With the family unsure of the expenses needed to travel and compete on the Korn Ferry Tour, Carlos Sr. and Chela sold an investment condo, gaining a financial safety net in case the road was rocky.

Carlos quickly rewarded his family’s belief. He finished third in his first Korn Ferry Tour start as a member, the 2014 Astara Golf Championship, and he won three events later at The Panama Championship. He added victories at the El Bosque Mexico Championship and Regular Season-ending WinCo Foods Portland Open, and he was off to the PGA TOUR.

“It was a crazy season,” Alvaro remembers. “I was just signed for Arkansas and was getting ready for college … it was crazy how he played that season. I felt like every week, he had a chance to win. That really pushed me, going to college and trying to get better, trying to go out there as quick as I could.

“And I remember he won the third one, the first week I got to Arkansas. It was pretty special, getting there and him getting his promotion to the PGA TOUR.”

The brothers’ journeys have taken different timelines, but the bond endures, and they relish the occasions where paths cross. After Alvaro gained 2019 Masters entry via his victory at the Latin America Amateur Championship, Carlos caddied in the Par 3 Contest. (Alvaro proceeded to make the cut and finish T36.)

Their playful dynamic is readily apparent. They traded barbs at a Tuesday press conference ahead of this week’s Mexico Open, and when asked to pose for photos on the first tee box Wednesday, they quickly leapt onto an adjacent bleacher and put their arms around each other.

“We compete in anything, and I think that’s pushed us to be great,” Carlos said. “It’s always great when you have somebody to practice and share everything with. You work hard, and then when it’s your brother, it’s even better.

“Yesterday, we finished playing and we went to a gym together and took a 10-minute ice, and we were both shaking and giving each other (crap) in the ice. Those kinds of experiences, it’s great to share them with your brother. I think that’s one of the reasons we have success and always kept improving, because we push each other.”

They’ve helped push forward a country of aspiring young pros who aim to follow their path, as well.

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