SHORT-GAME shortcomings killed off the Claret Jug hopes of Paul Lawrie and Marc Warren after they’d stirred excitement among the home fans at halfway, as well as leaving Richie Ramsay, the third Scot to make the cut, furious as he departed the St Andrews stage.
Lying joint third, just two off the lead, after two rounds and in contention for a second Open Championship success, Lawrie was bitterly disappointed after closing rounds of 74 and 73 saw him finish on five-under 283.
“I actually played quite nicely today, but holed no putts at all,” said the 1999 winner. “I had 36 putts yesterday and 35 today. It doesn’t matter how good you play, you can’t compete when you are putting like that. I’ve got to find a way of getting the ball in the hole more regularly as it’s becoming a mega issue.”
Asked if he’d be able to take any positives from the first half of the event, the Aberdonian added: “I’m not seeing much positives at the moment, but when I sit down tomorrow, maybe there will be. Marc and I yesterday didn’t feed off each other, didn’t hole any putts. The crowd were shouting our name every hole, and it kind of keeps you going, to be fair. But you just can’t putt like that and keep in contention.”
Three off the pace at halfway, Warren finished alongside his compatriot after signing off with scores of 72 and 74.
“I played nicely the first two days, but the putter has dried up the last couple days,” said the 34-year-old Glaswegian. “Even coming in, there had been a few really good chances, but apart from a ten-footer on 17, I didn’t take them. Things just went a bit flat the last couple days, really.”
After bogeying his last four holes to sign off with a 74 for a one-under-par total, Richie Ramsay said he had lots of work to do before the US PGA Championship at Whistling Straits next month.
“That felt like a wasted opportunity on a course I know well,” said the Edinburgh-based 32-year-old. “The game doesn’t feel far away, but I putted rubbish. A lot of it is mindset and I have got to go away and change that so I can pick up a hint of confidence in my short game.”
Ramsay, the last player to get into the 156-strong field, was furious with himself after three-putting from 12 feet at the last.
“They might as well have given someone else a chance to play as it was pointless the way the week turned out for me,” he added. “I don’t work to come out and play like that and it’s a bit of a joke, to be honest.
“My driving and iron play are good, but the scoring areas need to be better.
“That’s where the top guys are way better than me. I need to go away and break a few things down and come back and start again.”
Spectators paid just £10 to watch the extra day’s action at St Andrews.
Now Lawrie is hoping fans will make the most of another bargain at the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links in a fortnight. “It’s like our event in two weeks’ time. It’s only £15 a day to get in, so we’re hoping that value for money will make a lot people come and watch some top players.”