"Complete joy" for Ortiz
The 23-year-old from Guadalajara got off to a strong start with a birdie at the opening hole and gained another at the 5th, but a costly bogey at the par-four 8th left him two behind a surging Gagne. Ortiz, whose older brother Carlos plays on the PGA Tour, kept his cool, however, and overturned the deficit with a dramatic eagle three at the 12th and a birdie three at the next.
The 54-hole leader almost dramatically holed his approach shot at the 295-yard, par-four 17th and tapped in for another birdie to move two clear of the Costa Rican before closing out a fine victory with a birdie four at the closing hole.
“A complete joy, for sure. It's going to be nice to see the Mexican flag at one of the majors again, at the Masters," said Ortiz of his reward for a two-shot victory over Gagne.
Describing his victory Ortiz said it was complete patience, "Trusting in the process and the work that everybody puts in. It feels good to be able to finally hold this trophy after been wanting for so long."
Ortiz was runner-up to Chile’s Joaquin Niemann at Prince of Wales Country Club in Chile last year and lost out in a playoff to another Chilean Toto Gana at Club de Golf de Panama in 2017. The University of Arkansas alumnus also finished tied for third at Pilar Golf in Argentina in 2015 and has held the lead after a round in the LAAC a record seven times.
Open qualification hope for Gagne
In his debut appearance in the championship, Gagne made his move with three consecutive birdies from the 3rd hole and reached 6-under-par for the day with another at the 14th but the 21-year-old slipped up at the par four 17th with his first bogey since the 8th hole, his 17th, in the second round. The Louisiana State University senior finished with a birdie four at the last but it was not enough to catch Ortiz.