Former US Amateur champion Andy Ogletree continued to put together one of the finest tournaments of his short professional career today when he took the third-round lead at the US$1.5 million International Series Egypt at Madinaty Golf Club.
The American, helped by a brilliant birdie, eagle finish shot a five-under-par 65 to reach 15 under for the tournament and open up a three-shot lead from Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, who also made a fine eagle on 18, and second-round leader Richard T. Lee from Canada.
Eight-time DP World Tour winner Wiesberger also carded a 65 while Lee returned a 69.
Last year’s US Amateur champion American James Piot (64) and his countrymen Jarin Todd (67) and Sihwan Kim (68), Thailand’s Prom Meesawat (66) and Jinichiro Kozuma from Japan (68) are tied for fourth, four behind the leader.
Ogletree started the day one back from Lee but pulled ahead of the pack with three birdies on the trot from the fifth and narrowly stayed ahead of a crowded leader board all day until his fantastic finish.
He holed a 12 footer for birdie on the par-five 17th before reaching the 345-yard par-five 18th in one with an eye-catching drive before he holed out from 30 feet.
“I had a slow start early on, took me a little bit of time of get into the round,” said 24-year-old Ogletree, who turned professional in 2020 a year after winning his country’s National Amateur.
“I was playing really well but three putted two which was super frustrating, but I kept telling myself to stay patient, there are a lot of birdies out there.
“I never beat myself up and I knew that I would make some birdies coming in. You always know that 17 and 18, in the back of your mind, are easy holes so throughout the round I kept saying wait for that. Made a good putt on 17 and a long one on 18 so that was just a testament to staying patient and trusting what I was doing all day.”
Weisberger looked set to finish the day in the pack before holing a 20-foot eagle putt on the final hole – brandishing the ‘broomhandle’ putter that he has been using since July to great effect.
He said: “I started well. I got off to a good rhythm and holed a lot of chances but then I was quite disappointed as my mid irons were not very good and it is a little bit of a mystery ride for me on the greens. I am really struggling on the greens, with reading them and trusting them.
“But as Jamie my caddie said my patience was rewarded today, even though I felt a little impatient after 17, but nice to roll one in for eagle on the last and pick up a couple of shots later on.”
Overnight-leader Lee, so impressive over the first two days on the front nine with scores of birdies, failed to get going today and went out in level par before making a double on 13 which saw him tumble down the leaderboard. However, he rallied and bravely got back into contention with four birdies in the last five holes.
Said the two-time Asian Tour winner: “Yeah, I was kind of struggling with my swing a little bit, and think I was trying to make birdies too early, trying to pressure myself a little bit. But, yeah, happy with how I came back with a few birdies on the back nine, and let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
Prom has not won on the Asian Tour since 2014 and is enjoying playing a course that is relatively short compared to most courses on the Asian Tour.
“It’s not long, it’s only 16 that’s long, but the rest is fine for me. But still you know, for the guys who are long hitters they really have an advantage on this course because it’s wide open. I just play my game just focus on what I have been working on,” said the Thai golfer.
First-round leader Scott Hend from Australia bounced back from a disappointing second day 74 shooting a 64 and is tied for ninth five behind the leader.
Scores after round 3 of the International Series Egypt being played at the par 70, 6900 Yards Madinaty Golf Club course (am – denotes amateur):
195 – Andy Ogletree (USA) 66-64-65.
198 – Bernd Wiesberger (AUT) 66-67-65, Richard T. Lee (CAN) 64-65-69.
199 – James Piot (USA) 65-70-64, Prom Meesawat (THA) 67-66-66, Jarin Todd (USA) 66-66-67, Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 67-64-68, Sihwan Kim (USA) 65-66-68.
200 – Scott Hend (AUS) 62-74-64, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 65-68-67.
201 – Travis Smyth (AUS) 65-67-69, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 64-68-69, Trevor Simsby (USA) 65-67-69.
202 – Jakraphan Premsirigorn (THA) 67-69-66, Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 68-68-66, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 66-70-66, Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 66-69-67.
203 – Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 67-70-66, Berry Henson (USA) 68-67-68, David Puig (ESP) 68-71-64.
204 – Kevin Yuan (AUS) 71-67-66, Todd Sinnott (AUS) 68-69-67, Ian Snyman (RSA) 67-69-68, Ajeetesh Sandhu (IND) 70-69-65, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 70-66-68, Koh Deng Shan (SIN) 71-68-65, Seungtaek Lee (KOR) 63-70-71.
205 – Brett Rumford (AUS) 65-71-69, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 69-70-66, Rattanon Wannasrichan (THA) 69-66-70, Lu Wei-chih (TPE) 70-65-70, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 68-71-66.
206 – Cole Madey (USA) 70-69-67, Shergo Al Kurdi (JOR) 69-70-67, Sam Brazel (AUS) 65-70-71, Turk Pettit (USA) 67-68-71, Pawin Ingkhapradit (THA) 63-70-73, Ayoub Lguirati (MOR) 66-67-73.
207 – Mathiam Keyser (RSA) 65-73-69, El Mehdi Fakori (am, MOR) 68-70-69, Viraj Madappa (IND) 67-70-70, Poom Pattaropong (THA) 71-69-67.
208 – Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 71-67-70, S.S.P. Chawrasia (IND) 68-69-71, Alvaro Ortiz (MEX) 67-72-69, S. Chikkarangappa (IND) 70-69-69, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 69-71-68.
209 – Adam Bresnu (am, MOR) 68-70-71, Justin Quiban (PHI) 66-71-72, Chase Koepka (USA) 70-69-70, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 71-69-69.
210 – Chan Shih-chang (TPE) 68-70-72, Woohyun Kim (KOR) 69-69-72, Natipong Srithong (THA) 71-68-71, Bjorn Hellgren (SWE) 71-68-71, Scott Vincent (ZIM) 70-69-71, Jack Harrison (ENG) 71-68-71, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 68-66-76, Siddikur Rahman (BAN) 68-72-70, Aman Kapil Gupta (USA) 68-72-70.
211 – Taehoon Ok (KOR) 71-66-74, Danthai Boonma (THA) 71-67-73, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 71-69-71, Angelo Que (PHI) 69-71-71, Sangchai Kaewcharoen (THA) 73-67-71.
212 – Cory Crawford (AUS) 70-70-72, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 70-70-72.
213 – Shinichi Mizuno (JPN) 68-72-73, Tristen Strydom (RSA) 75-65-73.
214 – Yikeun Chang (KOR) 72-66-76, Dodge Kemmer (USA) 69-69-76.
215 – Sungyeol Kwon (KOR) 73-66-76.