Viktor Hovland became the first defending champion to repeat as a winner on the PGA Tour in more than two years at last week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba. But it’s a trend that won’t continue at this week’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open. On Tuesday, defending champions Carlos Ortiz announced that he was withdrawing from the event due to an shoulder injury and was shutting it down for 2021.
“Unfortunately, I’ve been battling a left shoulder injury since Japan, and after meeting with my doctors this morning, it was recommended that I take the rest of the season off to recover,” Ortiz said in a statement. “This is incredibly disappointing to me as I was looking forward to defending my first PGA Tour title in Texas, my second home. I’m honored to be a champion of this event and I look forward to returning next year.”
After shooting rounds of 68-73, Ortiz withdrew in Japan. He came back to play last week in his home country of Mexico, and finished strong, shooting a closing 66 with five birdies on the final seven holes to finish solo second.
Ortiz has been replaced in the field by John Huh.