Little Rock's Andy Ogletree less than two weeks from PGA Tour debut
Andy Ogletree's PGA Tour debut is less than two weeks away. Only days separate him from something he has been working towards since he was a kid.
"I've been dreaming of playing the PGA Tour since I was five years old. That's been my goal and to see a goal achieved and start setting some new goals is really cool for me," Ogletree said. "Obviously it's not going to be what I thought my first PGA Tour event would be like but I don't really care. I'm just happy to be playing in it. I'm going to make the most of it and try to play as well as I can."
Since winning the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship, Ogletree has dealt with some roadblocks.
He suffered a broken thumb and torn tendons in late November that set him back during his offseason between fall and spring matches at Georgia Tech. When his thumb had fully healed and he was able to compete in the spring for his final season with the Yellowjackets, the coronavirus hit, causing the NCAA to cancel the remainder of the spring sports season.
While Ogletree did not have a complete, final season at Georgia Tech, he said the time off during the coronavirus has helped him refocus on the game of golf.
"It's been kind of a weird time but also been kind of a blessing in disguise. For a long time we had no time table of when golf would return so for me, I was kind of able to fall in love with the process and not worry about the outcome when it came to golf," Ogletree said. "I had gotten my reward from results and kind of fell out of love with the process of getting better so during this time, it was nice to take a break from competitive golf and just fall back in love with having fun with it."
Ogletree will be competing in the Charles Schwab Challenge June 11-14 at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas. This event marks professional golf's return to the course in over two months.
Fans will not be allowed in attendance for the event, which Ogletree said is "the worst part" since his family will not be in attendance for his PGA Tour Debut. He shared other protocols that have been put in place for the event such as daily temperature checks and how participants' are limited to only their caddies with them on the course. He shared players are allowed one coach for practice rounds but they must stay six feet away.
While the event will feature over 150 golfers, including the top five players like Rory Mcllroy and Brooks Koepka, Ogletree said he is looking at his first PGA Tour event like any other tournament he would prepare for.
"I'm not going to sit here and say I'm trying to win but I'm not scared of that thought. I feel like I've prepared my whole life for this and it's not really any different from any other golf tournament," Ogletree said. "I think my good golf stacks up with anyone else's good golf. If I can just take care of all the things I can take care of and not really worry about the outcome then I'll be fine."
Ogletree will maintain his amateur status while competing in PGA Tour events in order to compete in this year's Masters, which was pushed back from April to November due to the coronavirus.