"I went to Columbia Union on a basketball scholarship," said the Charlotte, N.C. native. "I just really loved basketball. I went back to Charlotte to teach at a private institution and decided to get my masters in sports management. I went to Slippery Rock for a year and part of the sports management program was an internship. The internship I accepted and got on board with was the 84 Lumber Classic.
"I went down and got bit by the golf bug. I loved the operations of it, I loved the whole thing about PGA Tour events and just fell in love with it."
He spent three years as head of operations for the 84 Lumber Classic (2004-06) and three years as head of operations for the Turning Stone Resort Championship (2007-09) at Atunyote (pronounced uh-DOON-yo) in Vernon, N.Y.
In his role, he was responsible for grandstands, merchandise tents, food and beverage tents, and all of the signage.
In 2010, he became the assistant director at the Greenbrier Classic under McNeely.
Ortel said his background in operations will serve him well in his new role.
"Everything that we do at an event has an element of operations," he said. "I feel, personally, having the operations background help me a great deal to understand the big scheme because it all ties back to operations. My three years at 84 and three years at Turning Stone helped guide me and mold me professionally. It was very beneficial."
At 33 years of age, Ortel is settled into the directorship of the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic.
"I'm very fortunate," he said. "I tell the assistants that come through this program, 'You have an opportunity and what you do with the opportunity is entirely up to you. You have to work hard, you have to be dedicated, you have to have passion behind your work and doors will open.'"
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.