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Mississippi golfer making name for himself in Asia

Andy Ogletree (Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics)

Small-town Mississippi golfer Andy Ogletree has been through ups and downs at every level from amateur to professional.

In August of 2019 at the famous Pinehurst Country Club, the Union native won the 124th United States Amateur Championship. That victory earned the Georgia Tech player exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open in 2020.

After finishing 34th in the Masters and earning the low amateur trophy, Ogletree decided to turn professional, avoiding exemption for the last two major championships in golf.

Despite finishing in a tie for 46th place finish at his first PGA Tour event following his performance at the Masters, Ogletree had to go through hip surgery.  The medical setbacks began to build for the new professional golfer.

Ogletree’s performance in every American professional circuit was tough because of conditions, even finishing 115th to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Q-School. The Korn Ferry Tour is the former Nike Tour that players use as a stepping stone for PGA Tour qualifications and is backed by the tour for these purposes.

While attempting to qualify for Korn Ferry Tour events in the summer of 2022, Ogletree was accepted in the last spot for the first LIV Tour event. The newly created Saudi-circuit professional golf tour brought suspension by the PGA Tour to all golfers that participated in this event, thus “crossing the lines.”

“I was told by Korn Ferry Tour player relations [officials] that they look at every media rights differently and suspension differently,” said Ogletree to NBC News about the PGA Tour suspension. “The suspensions came out and I’m on the front page of The New York Times with Phil [Mickelson] and Dustin [Johnson], I wasn’t even close to that scale.”

Due to Ogletree having no official status on any tour at the time, the player’s career was in limbo. One newly formed circuit was the Asian Tour’s International Series where Ogletree qualified because of their association with the LIV Tour. The Mississippian found his game, winning two events, the International Series of Egypt in November of 2022 and the International Series of Qatar, which placed him at the top of the Order of Merit at the time.

Eventually, the Order of Merit Winner will be granted full access to the LIV Golf League, where the purses are up to $20 million per event. Based on the resurrection of his game, Ogletree looks to play in three more events for the International Series in 2023.

Additionally, Ogletree was the third player from Georgia Tech to win the U.S. Amateur. The others were five-team winner and golfing legend Bobby Jones along with current PGA Tour player Matt Kuchar.

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