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He was dropped after playing in the first ever LIV Golf event, but now Andy Ogletree is looking to "earn his way back" as he opened up a big lead on the Asian Tour's International Series standings.
The 2019 US Amateur champion finished last at the inaugural LIV Golf event at London's Centurion last year, and was dropped from the field for the rest of the season.
He hoped to play more, but Ogletree says he "kind of got the boot" due to that one bad performance - which then left him without a place to play his golf.
Being banned from the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour left the American with nowhere to play, but he got a place on the Asian Tour and is now leading the way in the International Series standings - which lead to a full place back on LIV Golf.
It was a profitable UK swing for Ogletree, who claimed victory at the International Series England event at Close House before also impressing at the following St Andrews Bay Championship.
A final round 65 gave the 25-year-old a top 10 finish at Fairmont St Andrews and means Ogletree now has a huge lead with double the prize money of his nearest competitor, Japan’s Takumi Kanaya.
Finishing top of the International Series standings would mean Ogletree gets an automatic spot in next year's LIV Golf League, while those finishing in the top 32 will battle it out in a qualifier for three further spots.
After also having hip surgery, Ogletree has been through the ringer somewhat after that first attempt at playing LIV Golf, but he's battling back and now has a lucrative spot back on the tour within his grasp.
And as a result of his performances on the Asian Tour, he has played in three LIV Golf events since finishing last at Centurion, with Ogletree stepping in as an injury replacement.
Andy Ogletree on earning his way back onto LIV for the 2024 season via the Asian Tour:“I can’t wait, you know, getting a taste of it early on in the first tournament, I kind of thought going into LIV London that it wouldn’t be my only event last year and I would play at least… pic.twitter.com/7py9ORs4faAugust 30, 2023
Ogletree replaced Crushers GC’s Anirban Lahiri for the LIV Golf Orlando event, where he finished tied for 41st. He then played the final round of LIV Golf Tulsa for Majesticks GC following Lee Westwood’s withdrawal, impressing with a round of eight under.
“I kind of thought going into LIV London that it wouldn’t be my only event last year and I would play at least the first half of the season, and then once all the PGA Tour guys came I might get kicked out," Ogletree told @FlushingItgolf.
"But, yeah, I played so bad that that wasn’t the case. So, to earn my way back is super rewarding and I’m hoping to just take care of business the rest of the year and be over there full time next year.”
With just three International Series events left to play Ogletree is determined not to let the chance slip in his bid for LIV Golf redemption.
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Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website. Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.
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