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June 20, 2020

Carlos Ortiz

Hilton Head, South Carolina

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome Carlos Ortiz. Carlos, congratulations, 8-under 63 round 3. Two Eagles in the first five holes, three birdies in the last four holes. Just kind of assess your round and how you feel.

CARLOS ORTIZ: I felt great today. I put it in position off the tee. Once you do that on this golf course, it kind of frees you up, especially with the greens being so soft. It's like throwing darts. I've also been feeling great on the green. I've been putting it well. So I felt good overall.

Q. Carlos, after you made two double bogeys your first five holes, what were you thinking going to the 6th tee on Thursday?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I don't know. Just honestly, I broke my toe, and I was in a cast for six weeks. So I've only been playing for three weeks, and I just want to get back into playing and feeling comfortable. So I just told my caddie, like, dude, let's just grind. Let's just find our game and start getting some confidence back.

That's what we did. We just stayed patient, started hitting great shots. I feel like I shot 8 under, and I shot 2 under. Starting that way, it was tough, but I was really proud of the way I came back.

Q. Can you tell us where you broke your toe, how you broke your toe.
CARLOS ORTIZ: I was working out, and one of the weights -- I was barefoot. One of the weights fell and just fell right on my foot, and it broke my toe. I had to be six weeks in a boot. So it kind of delayed everything for me.

Q. When did you come back? When was your first tournament back?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I started practicing about three weeks ago.

Q. In the last five years, how many times have you thought about winning your first TOUR title?
CARLOS ORTIZ: You know, a lot. That's something I always dream of. I feel like I did a great job last year of putting myself in position, and I think I did a great job during these first three days to get myself in that position again. So I'm just going to enjoy tomorrow, and I'm just happy I have a chance for tomorrow.

Q. I wanted to know, for one thing, what club you hit on 17 to short range, four feet?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I hit a 9 iron. It was a perfect stroke with a 9 iron. Just one of those shots that you get lucky with the yardage and it's really comfortable.

Q. And then as you go about -- you finished early, but if you happen to even look at leaderboards or if you've seen any now, what's it like right now being at the top of the lead and seeing what seems to be half the field right there at 12, 13, 11, 10? I mean, it's so bunched up. Why is this happening two weeks in a row, do you think?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I think people are hungry. They want to make money, so everybody's trying to play good (laughter).

I just think the conditions are ideal, especially yesterday morning there's no wind, and today pretty much no wind. Greens are soft, so it's throwing darts out there. Once you put yourself in position off the tee, I feel like you have short irons, and with soft greens, you have a good chance of putting it pretty close.

Q. You had two eagles. Can you talk about that? One was a long putt, right?
CARLOS ORTIZ: No, actually, I hit it just off the green on 2, and it was like 15 feet of the hole but just off the green. It's an easy chip and just got in. On 5, I hit a great 3 wood on my second shot to about six feet up the hill.

Q. So you chipped in on 2?
CARLOS ORTIZ: Chipped in on 2.

Q. Silly one, but just curious what your thoughts were when you heard about the positive test yesterday from Nick. Did that give you any pause or anything?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I actually -- it's crazy. I heard about it, and I'm like, oh, I almost feel like paranoid now, feel my temperature, my throat is itching. I think it's just a warning. We just need to be more careful. Sometimes I feel like they loosen up the restrictions, and everybody just feels free. Especially here, we've been out to dinner a couple of times, and it's been so packed that we have to leave. So we just have to be careful and keep following what the PGA TOUR guidance are.

It's just a tough situation, but I just hope we can get through this. Hopefully, nobody else tests positive.

Q. Where did you go to dinner, and what was that like?
CARLOS ORTIZ: It was here by the lighthouse right here in the marina. It was way -- it's a 30-minute wait, and once you get in there, there's no social distancing, packed tables right by each other, kids running around. We were impressed how nobody wearing a mask. It was just -- we talked about it on Tuesday when we saw it. We were like, oh, somebody's going to get corona here. It's crazy how busy it is in here inside the Island.

Q. Carlos, which foot, which toe, and will you ever lift weights again barefoot?
CARLOS ORTIZ: I think I learned my lesson. It's the left pinkie toe. So it was a little bit of -- I struggled because on the swing you have to kind of move your weight to that side. So even though I felt like I was fine, I was still struggling mentally to like trust it and move to that side. That's why I've been a little bit off, especially off the tee with a driver. Then just been working hard on trusting it and seeing the shots I want to.

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