In June, Andy Ogletree played in the opening LIV Golf tournament at London’s Centurion Club. However, he finished last in the individual event, ensuring it would be his one and only appearance in the opening season of the venture.
Despite the American's association with the Greg Norman-fronted organisation only being fleeting, he still received a suspension from the PGA Tour, leaving him with limited options as to where he could ply his trade.
Speaking to Sports Illustrated (opens in new tab), Ogletree confirmed that it was his poor performance that cost him further appearances - despite thinking he would have more opportunities. He said: “I kind of got the boot because I played bad. I wanted to play all of them. I was understanding that I was to play more than once. But after the great turnout they had, everyone seemed to want to play. I just didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.”
It was a costly failure because Ogletree was not only suspended by the PGA Tour but also barred from the Korn Ferry Tour. Ogletree explained that left him with nowhere to play. He said: “There wasn’t even a Monday qualifier. I had no place to play. I wasn’t in the event and couldn’t get in it. And I found out I was suspended after I teed off [at the LIV event]. I couldn’t believe how it blew up. I was on the same list as the Dustin Johnsons and Phil Mickelsons. And everyone thought I was banned for life.”
Thanks to LIV Golf’s association with the Asian Tour and its International Series, the 24-year-old has not only revived his career but also secured his first professional win in the International Series Egypt event at the weekend. Now, Ogletree says that despite the uncertainty of his ill-fated LIV Golf appearance, he doesn’t regret the move. He said: “I have no regrets. It gave me somewhere to play. It gave me the opportunity to get into the Asian Tour as well. My big thing was I just wanted a guaranteed place to play. I didn’t feel I was getting better playing Monday qualifiers. And playing mini-tours.
LIV Golf is known for rewarding its players handsomely, and Ogletree was no exception. Despite finishing rock bottom in that opening event, he still claimed $120,000 in prize money, which he admits was helpful. He said: “It definitely helped that I was able to make some money and was able to fund what I was doing for the rest of the year.”
Following his success at Madinaty Golf Club, which brought a further windfall of $270,000, Ogletree is considering playing in the next International Series event in Indonesia. Meanwhile, the win also earned him a two-year exemption on the Asian Tour. Not only that, but with his PGA Tour suspension being lifted on 1 January 2023, he will then be able to compete on that and the Korn Ferry Tour providing he doesn’t appear in any more LIV Golf events.
After recovering from hip surgery, Ogletree explained that his win in Egypt could mark the start of an upward trajectory on a career that had appeared in limbo less than six months ago. He said: “I’ve been working really hard. The hip surgery last year was a setback. This year I’ve tried to keep my body healthy and really stayed on top of that and worked really hard to play great golf again. This has been building for a year and a half.”
Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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