(L-R) Taichi Kho of Hong Kong, Andy Ogletree of the United States, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland

All eyes will be on Andy Ogletree at this week’s  Volvo China Open, as The International Series Order of Merit (OOM) leader goes in search of the golden ticket to the LIV Golf League that comes with top spot in the standings.

In-form Ogletree is the runaway leader going into the last three back-to-back International Series events of the season. With the Hong Kong Open and the BNI Indonesian Masters presented by TNE to follow straight after the last putt drops in China, the American has one hand on that OOM title for the set of 10 elevated events on the Asian Tour calendar.

The 25-year-old tops the standings by over half a million dollars, and also leads the Asian Tour OOM, thanks to tournament wins at International Series Qatar in February and International Series England in August.

A tied third in Singapore, Ogletree’s latest impressive performance, adds to top-10 finishes in Oman and Scotland in the Series, and his undoubted talent was made clear after he technically finished in the LIV Golf League Open Zone this season, above the dreaded Drop Zone, despite only appearing as a reserve.

As he closes in on the OOM title and a LIV Golf League spot for next season, Ogletree admits he has already been fielding calls from players around the world eager to follow in his footsteps, with the Asian Tour’s high-profile events offering a viable pathway onto the LIV Golf League.

He said: “Guys have reached out to me regards Asian Tour Q School, and the process of getting out here. I think it (The International Series) has shown what it can do in my situation – I think it will be appealing to a lot of college players turning pro as it adds another route to make a great living playing golf.”

The International Series has taken on added significance with the confirmation that eligible players inside the top 40 of the OOM standings will be able to participate in the LIV Golf Promotions event in Abu Dhabi from 8-10 December, a four-round qualifying tournament that will give three additional players entry to the LIV Golf League roster for next season.

It’s no secret that Ogletree is a big fan of the Asian Tour’s marquee tournaments. A winner in the inaugural season in 2022 at the International Series Egypt, the 2019 US Amateur champion admitted preparing for International Series events as if they were his “Major tournaments” earlier this season.

Ogletree, one of the original 48 players in the field for the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational London event last season, said: “The International Series is really cool. It gave me somewhere to play and build my game back up. I was struggling at my first event in London, but part of my decision to come to LIV Golf was the guaranteed International Series starts.

“I knew I was going to build up a schedule and travel the world and see some cool places. It has been awesome and the competitions have been amazing; I really enjoyed playing these tournaments with championship style golf courses. It has been great earning my way back (to the LIV Golf League).”

The Volvo China Open tees-off at Hidden Grace Golf Club in Shenzhen tomorrow.

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