RICHIE Ramsay, the last man into the 156-strong field at St Andrews, makes no excuses for trying to get better. It’s what drives him every day and he won’t be happy if this opportunity – he came off the reserve list on Sunday when Tim Clark withdrew – isn’t grabbed with both hands.
“I just want to do myself justice,” said the Aberdonian before heading out for his second practice round of the week, having been joined at the home of golf by coach Ian Rae after his return from Sweden, where he masterminded Scotland’s win in the European Team Championship last weekend.
I don’t like the person I am when I don’t search out new ways of getting betterRichie Ramsay
“I crave the ability to be the best I can be and do everything I can. If I do that, then I will hold my head up high. If I don’t then it drives me bananas. I just don’t like it and I don’t like the person I am when I don’t give 100 per cent. I don’t like the person I am when I don’t search out new ways of getting better. That is something you either have or don’t have, it is not something you can work with. I am just trying to get better.”
This is Ramsay’s fifth Open Championship appearance. It’s on the course where he came close to winning the Dunhill Links last October, finishing second to Oliver Wilson after leading with a few holes to play.
“Years ago I would have said I took lots of confidence from that,” said the Edinburgh-based 32-year-old, who landed his third European Tour title with a win in Morocco earlier this year. “I did but you have to be confident before that. You have to go out with confidence straight off the bat.
“It does help when you are playing well, but you need to have that good attitude and confidence to start with. I am trying to have that from the first tee rather than the 65th hole when I am coming down the stretch. I am very good when I come down the stretch, I probably need to have that a little bit more when I am teeing it up on the Thursday morning.”
Having also secured a spot in next month’s US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, he has two chances to shine on the game’s biggest stages before the start of the European points race for next year’s Ryder Cup at Hazeltine.
“It definitely helps that I know the course well,” said Ramsay of this week’s assignment. “I don’t need to do too much work. I just need to get a feel for what the course is doing as in bounces and how far the ball is flying with the temperature. I have played well here. I would say it is a pretty simple golf course. I know where to hit it and where not to hit it. It is just a matter of playing aggressively and holing some putts. If you do that then there is a score out there to be had.
“I haven’t really thought of that (the Ryder Cup qualifying). I am going to stick to my guns. The things I am working on is my short game and the mental side. Mental comes into attitude, so they are the three things that if I work well on, I will do well this week. When you do well at the Dunhill, those three things tend to come to the fore. You have to drive the ball well, but those three things jump out at you.”