The Air Capital Classic became a speed bump on Carlos Ortiz’s fast track to the PGA Tour.
Ortiz, the Web.com Tour money leader and a two-time winner this season, shot his second consecutive 73 on Friday at Crestview Country Club. He missed the 36-hole cut at 6-over par.
“I haven’t had a bad week for a long time,” said Ortiz, a 23-year-old from Mexico who failed to advance to the weekend for the first time in eight tournaments. “Right now, I’m adjusting and making sure I’m in good form for the last events and the beginning of the PGA Tour season.”
Ortiz, a North Texas graduate who won his fourth and sixth tour events, leads the tour in earnings with $365,469. He hadn’t missed a cut since the Chile Classic in early March.
Ortiz, who bypassed the tour’s previous event in Cleveland, blamed short-game failings for a disappointing round on Thursday. He vowed to be more aggressive in the second round, but never gained momentum after a double bogey on the par-4 13th, his fourth hole.
“I tried, but I couldn’t,” Ortiz said. “I wasn’t hitting it that great, so it was hard to be aggressive.
“It happens. I’m working on my game, and it’s going to take more than one week to get it down.”
Timeless performance – A lot has changed for Jeff Gove since the 2001 Air Capital Classic, when he led after 36 holes and eventually tied for second behind Jason Dufner in the tournament’s first year at Crestview.
Gove and his wife, Heather, have had three children. He’s played more than 300 tournaments since then – including five trips to Wichita -- and spent six seasons on the PGA Tour.
But a round like Friday’s bogey-free 64 can stir old memories.
“I long for that feeling more,” Gove said after climbing to 8-under par, three shots behind tournament leader Aaron Watkins. “When I get here, it’s like I know I can play well. I know I can do it. It gives you that little boost of confidence.”
Gove, who shot a 63 in the second round on Crestview’s North course 13 years ago to take the lead, was equally impressive Friday. He finished the round with a challenging par save from a greenside bunker.
“I remember kind of what the wind does and what to do here,” Gove said. “The greens are pretty familiar, which is nice.
“I’ve been on this tour a long time. It’s kind of fun to come back to a course that I’ve hit some good shots at and remember those.”
Etc. – South Georgia Classic champion Blayne Barber got within one shot of Watkins late in the day, but bogeyed his last two holes to finish 36 holes at 8 under.… Rob Oppenheim tied for the low round of the day with a 63. It was his best tour round since he shot a 61 on the second day of the 2010 Cox Classic.… Three of the five former tournament champions in the field – Scott Parel (2013), Casey Wittenberg (2012) and Brad Elder (1999, 2007) advanced to the weekend. Jeff Klauk, the 2003 winner, missed the cut by one shot, while Mathew Goggin (2011) was eight shots off.… World No. 1 amateur Ollie Schniederjans shot a 1-over 71 Friday and slipped from a tie for second into a tie for 21st at 5 under.