Carlos Ortiz claims first win at Vivint Houston Open

 Carlos Ortiz claims first win at Vivint Houston Open

A diverse set of playing styles highlighted the huge success of Memorial Park’s renovation and Carlos Ortiz punctuated his win in 18th hole-birdie style before dam of emotions burst.

He is the first Mexican to win a PGA Tour event in 42 years. The finale and strong showing by Memorial made for great viewing and was unquestionably better with fan support.

(And no, Ortiz was not in the 2020 Masters field so he will not be headed to Augusta. That’s how things roll this strange year.)

About the “2000” fans a day.

The look, at least on television in a time America is about to hit 10 million cases and over 1000 deaths a day, was awful. Fans sandwiched together, maybe 60% mask buy-in and an uncomfortable look given the tournament rules and reminders.

Besides the largest 2000-fan crowds you’ll ever see and the lack of buy-in, the potential for getting fans back soon seems remote unless more measures are taken. Off the top of my head: designated eating/drinking areas, mask enforcement folks (sorry, I know, horrible job) and designated seating assignments (also, an enforcement nightmare).

While the outdoor setting hopefully helps avert a spreader event disaster, the ultimate problem is one of optics. Ratings will be light given the Golf Channel airing and competition from the NFL, but had the Houston Open been seen by a large audience, I’m fairly certainly most county health officials would have been horrified by what they saw. Most painful of all: the enjoyment of hearing roars and enthusiasm but also knowing that the spewing of droplets is, ultimately, problematic.

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