Some are afforded once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Others earn them.

A few years back, Phillip Ortiz was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the forecast was not bright. That’s when Make-A-Wish Foundation reached out to the Ortiz family in hopes of bringing some positivity to the situation.

“They approached me and asked what I’d like to do,” said Phillip. “But I told them I’d like to give up my spot to someone else who needed it more.”

Phillip selflessly explained that he already had his family and close friends; all he needed. He felt someone else could use the experience more.

But after being prompted to give an answer under a ‘what if?’ scenario, Phillip admitted he’d like to go to The Open Championship.

A few months passed before Phillip was surprised at Pico Rivera GC, where he volunteers his time with SCGA Junior’s Instruction program.

‘You’re going to Scotland!’ the Make-A-Wish Foundation representative exclaimed.

Despite his best efforts, Phillip’s dream was coming true.

“It didn’t really hit me until the flight over,” said Phillip. “I’m actually going to The Open. Wow.”

Zach Johnson ended up edging out Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four-hole playoff on Monday. It was the first time Phillip had been outside of the country and it’s something he’ll never forget.

“I unfortunately didn’t get to learn the bagpipes,” said Phillip. “But maybe next time!”

We are happy to say that Phillip has fully recovered and plans to join the SCGA Junior coaching staff next year.

“I’ve enjoyed my experience so much with SCGA Junior,” says Phillip. “I just want the opportunity that I had to be afforded to as many others as possible.”