Graeme McDowell had a disappointing final round in the International series on the Asian Tour as Andy Ogletree produced a stellar final round at Close House to take the victory.
Despite a disappointing final round 72, for a one-under total, it was still enough for McDowell to secure a top-20 finish.
Ogletree was unstoppable though at Close House, near Newcastle, shooting a final-round seven-under-par 64 – the joint lowest round of the week – to finish 16-under-par, ahead of second-placed Ian Poulter from England, who closed with the same score.
.This is Ogletree’s third convincing International Series victory – he triumphed in Qatar by three this year, and by four in Egypt last season – and it 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 US$360,000 and Ogletree was delighted with his pace putting and hopes to take confidence from his stellar week.
“The greens were super bumpy so it’s hard to tell exactly how my putting was, but I was pleased with how I played and my speed control coming down the stretch today was awesome. And it was nice to see a few putts go in, so we’re just gonna 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.”
The American had a one-stroke advantage at the start of the day, and after brushing off a bogey on the opening hole, he birdied fourth, fifth and eighth. After missing a 5 footer for a par on the ninth, he made two birdies and an eagle to take the victory.
Poulter, playing in the fifth from the last group, closed Ogletree’s lead to five after he eagled the par-five 16th, only to see the American frontrunner do the same soon after.
Poulter, 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. I made quite a few ‘birds’, and it was 16 feet on 16 there, and rolled that one in.”
Poulter’s son, amateur golfer Luke Poulter, 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, on level-par.
“It’s been amazing,” he said.
“I beat him [Ian Poulter] 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!”
The Asian Tour heads north of the border next week for the inaugural St Andrews Bay Championship at Fairmont St Andrews. The US$1.5 million gets underway on Thursday and features a host of marquee names, including former Masters champion Sergio Garcia from Spain, and American Harold Varner III.