Andy Ogletree wins International Series England at Close House by seven shots
Andy Ogletree stamped his authority on the Asian Tour by winning his third International Series event with a seven-stroke margin of victory.
The American was unstoppable at Close House, shooting a final-round seven under-par 64 to finish the week on 16 under-par as Ian Poulter finished second. Indian Anirban Lahiri carded a final round of 68 to take sole possession of third, one back from Poulter.
The win is Andy’s third convincing International Series victory after his triumphs in Qatar by three this year, and by four in Egypt last season. The win also consolidated his lead on both the Asian Tour and International Series order of merits.
“I don’t think I could hit it much better than I did this week,” said the 25-year-old, who banked $360,000.
“I was pleased with how I played and my speed control coming down the stretch today was awesome. It was nice to see a few putts go in, so we’re just going to keep trying to get better every week. My game is in a really good spot against a world-class field, super honoured to play the way I did.”
Andy held a one-stroke advantage at the start of the final day, and after brushing off a bogey on the opening hole he boarded the birdie train with birdies on the following hole, four, five and eight.
He uncharacteristically missed a 5ft putt for par on the ninth that saw him make the turn with a three-shot lead before he stormed home unchallenged with two birdies and an eagle on the back nine.
His success is all the more remarkable considering his last event on the Asian Tour was the International Series Vietnam in April, having focused on the LIV Golf League thereafter – the multi-million dollar circuit that he will play on full-time next year if, as looks likely, he finishes first on the International Series order of merit.
Ian, playing in the fifth from last group, closed Andy’s lead to five after he eagled the par five 16th, only to see the American frontrunner do the same soon after.
Ian, attempting to win for the first time in five years, said: “I just kind of found the key to hitting a few putts on these greens, which I didn’t have the first three days. And you know, when you do that and you play good golf like I played the first three days, then you’re going to be able to make some birdies. And that’s what I did today.”
Ian’s son Luke, who plays college golf at the University of Florida, completed an impressive tournament by closing with a 71 to finish in a tie for 22nd place on level-par.
“It’s been amazing,” he said. “I beat him [Ian] one of the days, it was really cool but my main goal was to try and beat him this week, but, he got me by nine!”
Meanwhile, Tyneside’s James Wilson made a successful debut on the Asian Tour after qualifying for the event. He posted rounds of 71, 71, 79 and 71 to finish in a tie for 48th place. He will tee it up in his second event, the inaugural St Andrews Bay Championship at Fairmont St Andrews, this week. The $1.5 million event tees off on Thursday and features a host of marquee names, including former Masters champion Sergio Garcia.