McDowell into top 15 as Ogletree leads by one at Close House

Rian Noctor

Graeme McDowell - Image via International Series Oman

After early struggles, a fast-finishing Graeme McDowell moved into the top 15 at the Asian Tour’s International series England at an extremely blustery Close House.

McDowell was three-over-par through 13 holes before birdieing three of his last five holes including a near hole-in-one at the par-3 18th to shoot a level-par 71. McDowell sits in 13th place, seven shots behind Andy Ogletree.

Ogletree, the leader of the Asian Tour order of merit, shot a four-under 67  to take the third-round lead on nine-under.


Ogletree, who leads both the Asian Tour and International Series Orders of Merit, finished strongly with an eagle on the par-five 16th, followed by a birdie to edge ahead of a stacked leaderboard.

He had started the day one-shot behind overnight leaders and playing partners David Puig and Jason Kokrak, and it was Spaniard Puig who made a costly triple-bogey on the 12th, where he four-putted, to hand the lead to the American.

However, Ogletree missed a two-footer for par on the following hole and saw Matt Jones move in front over the closing stages before his storming finish.

Ogletree told the media he was rewarded for his patience with the eagle on 16.

“I stayed patient all day, super tough, you know you got a couple birdie opportunities coming in. Hit a great shot on 16 and ended up making an eagle so that was kind of a bonus,” said the 25-year-old American, who has claimed two International Series titles: in Qatar this year, and Egypt last season.

Ogletree said the wind was a massive factor in the challenging conditions in north England today.

“It was brutal with the wind. I hit a couple of crazy clubs. I hit a pitching wedge from 168 so,  definitely 20-30 yard wind changes, whether it was into or down so it was pretty, pretty difficult.”

South African Neil Schietekat is overjoying being amongst the front runners, having nearly not started this week following a nasty fall off a golf buggy earlier in the week.

The South African shot a five-under-par 66 to sit on eight-under overall, one off Ogletree’s lead.

The 2020 Qualifying School graduate, who has only made one cut this year, said: “I have been with Hamish the physio since Tuesday when I fell off the cart, and on Thursday, I was seconds from pulling out when I was on the driving range.

“I looked at my caddy and I just said well, you know what’s the point, we’re hitting a seven iron 140. We kept on hitting and  warmed up and it got better and then we just figured a way to get it down there. Now I can’t hit my normal draw because I can’t get through the ball the way I normally do, so I’m just hitting a little butter cut. This is a kind of golf course where you can just poke it around and kind of get away with it.”

McDowell gets his final underway at 11.40am alongside Ian Poulter and Miguel Tabuena. Poulter, who’s son Luke is also in the event, holds a two-stroke advantage in the battle for bragging rights around the Poulter breakfast table.


Stay ahead of the game. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Irish Golfer news straight to your inbox!

More News

Leave a comment

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy & Terms of Service apply.