'I Deserve To Be There' - LIV Golf Winner Carlos Ortiz Laments Not Playing At US Open

After winning his first LIV Golf event in Houston, the world No.237 said he deserves to be at Pinehurst this week, despite missing out in US Open qualifying

Carlos Ortiz celebrates with the trophy after winning LIV Golf Houston
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Carlos Ortiz says he deserves to be teeing off at this week’s US Open, despite failing to qualify for the tournament at Pinehurst No.2. 

The 33-year-old Mexican claimed his first LIV Golf victory in Houston on Sunday thanks to a five-under final round to hang on to a one-shot win over Adrian Meronk, who missed a birdie on his last hole to miss a playoff. 

With the LIV Golf League not eligible for world ranking points, Ortiz’s performances on the Saudi-backed circuit – which includes one win and four top-15 finishes this season – won’t be enough to get him in the field for the third Major of the year.

The world No.237 still had a chance to get into the tournament through US Open qualifying in Dallas three weeks ago, but a double bogey on the final hole scuppered any hopes of joining the 13 other LIV players teeing it up in Pinehurst on Thursday.

“I've been playing great. It's a shame I doubled the last hole to miss the qualifier. It hurt a lot,” Ortiz admitted. 

But despite not doing enough in qualifying, Ortiz – like many of his LIV colleagues – lamented the current state of professional golf, and says he deserves to be playing at the US Open as “one of the best players in the world right now”.

“I think with time, we're going to get back into the Majors because I know that I'm one of the best players in the world right now, and I deserve to be there. But the way things are happening right now, it's kind of hard.”

Carlos Ortiz plays at LIV Golf Orlando

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Luckily for Ortiz, things do seem to be moving in the right direction for LIV players – albeit slowly.

USGA chief championship officer John Bodenhamer recently said the US Open is re-evaluating its eligibility criteria for future tournaments when it comes to LIV players.

“We’ve watched what is happening in professional golf unfold and we’ve seen a lot of good players go over to LIV and so we’re thinking a lot about it, we’ve talked a lot about it,” Bodenhamer said. “I think it’s reasonable to expect that at some point, yes, we would create a pathway or someway that we would get those great players, give them an opportunity to be unified again.”

Bodenhamer’s comments came on the back of the PGA of America and Augusta National offering Major invites to players from LIV.

Meanwhile, the PGA Tour has taken a step closer towards a deal with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which bankrolls LIV, after a meeting in New York last week, more than a year after the infamous Framework Agreement between the two parties was announced.

A vague statement from the PGA Tour Enterprises Transaction Subcommittee said a deal was “accelerating” and “more progress was made”.

But for now, Ortiz and Co. will have to try and qualify for the Majors the old-fashioned way.

“I'll do my best to get into the British Open," Ortiz added. "And I also have the summer Olympics, too, other than the LIV tournaments coming up. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Joel Kulasingham
News Writer

Joel Kulasingham is freelance writer for Golf Monthly. He has worked as a sports reporter and editor in New Zealand for more than five years, covering a wide range of sports including golf, rugby and football. He moved to London in 2023 and writes for several publications in the UK and abroad. He is a life-long sports nut and has been obsessed with golf since first swinging a club at the age of 13. These days he spends most of his time watching, reading and writing about sports, and playing mediocre golf at courses around London.