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Abraham Ancer, Carlos Ortiz excited to play together in Mexico and help grow sport

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The PGA Tour will make its annual stop in Mexico this week at Mayakoba and a pair of local heroes will play alongside each other for the first two days, which should attract the field's largest gallery. 

Mexican natives Abraham Ancer and Carlos Ortiz are grouped with Spaniard Sergio Garcia and they are all looking forward to giving the home crowd a reason to cheer at a course with which they're familiar. 

"This is one of my favorite weeks of the whole calendar," Ancer, this week's betting co-favorite, said. "It's a tournament that means a lot to me. I've had a lot of great memories. It's a golf course that I love, just the area, the hotels, everything. The full experience is unbelievable. Being Mexican, only having this event and, well, I guess the [WGC-Mexico Championship] at one point, every week we get a chance to play in front of our people, it means a lot to me and the rest of the Mexicans that are in the field."

Ortiz, the Tour's other full-time Mexican player who has three top-10s at Mayakoba since 2014, relayed the same excitement. 


Full-field tee times from the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba


"I'm always really happy to be back here," Ortiz said. "Mexico's obviously my home country, a special place. This is a beautiful one, I feel like I'm on vacation. I never feel like I'm actually playing a tournament, so that's maybe why I play so good." 

Ancer and Ortiz, who both notched their first PGA Tour wins last season, are happy to help grow golf not just South of the Border but throughout Latin America along with Chileans Joaquín Niemann and Mito Pereira, Colombia's Sebastián Muñoz, Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas and Argentina's Emiliano Grillo, who are all in this week's field. 

"It's been great for us," Ortiz said. "It's been so fun, we're great friends. I think we're carrying that Latinoamerica - there's not really a flag, but we're carrying the Latinoamerica name and we're trying to promote and grow golf as much as possible in each of our countries. I think we're doing a good job. There's still a lot we can do, and at the end of the day we're trying to motivate and inspire those next kids to get to the PGA Tour." 

As Mexico's stars battle it out this week on home soil, the sport will continue its trajectory to becoming more global. 

"It's definitely grown massively down here I think in the last two years with what [Ancer and Ortiz have] done, I think it's very important for golf," Brooks Koepka said. "We want to be a sport that's worldwide, known in every country, everybody's playing it. I think that's a big thing. You want these kids idolizing them growing up and come to play, exactly like I did. Everybody that's out here idolized somebody. I think you're going to start to see a lot more guys paving that way even in the next five years. Instead of two, three guys, you'll see maybe five to 10. I think that just shows the impact they have."