Ortiz vaults into share of Mexico Championship lead
Leon, Mexico (SportsNetwork.com) - Carlos Ortiz fired a 6-under 66 on Saturday to vault into a share of the lead at the El Bosque Mexico Championship.
The Panama Claro Championship winner finished three rounds at 9-under-par 207. Nathan Green carded a 2-under 70 to meet him atop the leaderboard at El Bosque Golf Club.
Both players will go for their second career victory on the Web.com Tour on Sunday.
"Tomorrow is going to be tough. There are a lot of guys from 9-under to 7- under, so if you don't come ready to win you're probably going to have to shoot 3-, 4-under par to have any chance," said Green.
Third-round leader Justin Thomas managed an even-par 72 during his third round to fall into a tie for third place with Jason Gore (67) and Jonathan Randolph (69) at 8-under 208.
D.J. Brigman (65) and Brad Schneider (69) shared sixth at minus-7.
Thomas entered the third round with a 1-stroke lead, but quickly lost that advantage with a bogey at the first, dropping him to 7-under and into a tie for the lead with Lunde, Green and Sam Saunders.
After Saunders lost his share of the lead with a bogey at the second, Green followed in the final group with a birdie at the same hole to claim the outright lead.
Green made it two gains in a row at the third to grab a 2-stroke advantage at 9-under.
As Green ran off a string of pars to remain there, Randolph followed a bogey at the second with five birdies in a six-hole stretch from the third to meet Green atop the leaderboard.
Randolph briefly fell a shot off the pace with a bogey at the ninth, but bounced right back with a birdie at the 10th to again reach minus-9.
Randolph would birdie the 13th moments before Green birdied the 10th to remain tied for the lead, but Green then tripped to a bogey at the 11th to leave Randolph alone at 10-under.
Randolph returned the favor with a bogey at No. 14 to also drop to minus-9, and made it two bogeys in a row at the 15th to leave Green alone in the lead.
Randolph parred his final three holes to end at 8-under.
Ortiz, meanwhile, was making his way up the leaderboard with birdies at the fourth, ninth, 10th and 12th around a bogey at the 11th. He converted another birdie at the 17th to move within two shots of the leaders before closing his day with an eagle at the last to head into the clubhouse at 9-under.
Green handed Ortiz sole possession of the lead with a bogey at the 14th, but later bounced back with a birdie at the 17th to again reach minus-9.
"I probably didn't do as well as the first day, sort of hung in there, made a few bogeys on the back nine, but made a good birdie on 17 to get it back to 9- under," stated Green. "Today was a little bit of a struggle ball-strikingwise, but hopefully tomorrow I can put together a good round."
Gore posted five birdies during his birdie-free round, while Thomas recovered from an outward 38, that included two bogeys and a double-bogey with, birdies at the 12th and 18th to earn their shares of third place.
NOTES: Green won on the PGA Tour at the 2009 Canadian Open. He also won the European Tour's New Zealand Open in 2007 ... Ortiz is currently second on the money list behind Alex Cejka, who is tied for 19th place at 3-under.
04/12 20:36:14 ET