Defending champion Carlos Ortiz withdraws from Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open with shoulder injury

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Carlos Ortiz was running hot heading into his first PGA Tour title defense in this week’s Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open.

Now he’s no longer in the running for his second PGA Tour title.

Ortiz, who finished runner-up to Viktor Hovland in last week’s World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba, withdrew Tuesday from the Houston Open with a left shoulder injury.

Ortiz won his first PGA Tour title last year with rounds of 67-68-67-65 at Memorial Park to finish two shots clear of Dustin Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama, who won the next two Masters.

Ortiz, 30, told SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio that he was told by doctors on Tuesday to stop playing for at least one month. Ortiz will have an MRI exam. He said he expects to be fully recovered for the start of 2022.

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“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.”

Ortiz was forced to withdraw from the Zozo Championship in Japan two weeks ago because of the injury. Last week in Mayakoba, he said his shoulder was “sore,” but he was going to grind through it. He still shot 67-65-67-66 to finish second in his home country.

John Huh replaced Ortiz in the field.