A TIMELY reminder about his 2012 highlight will see Richie Ramsay step on to the first tee with a spring in his step in today’s first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona.
The 29-year-old Aberdonian faces a tough baptism in the £5.6 million event against world No 5 Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion and winner of the Volvo Golf Champions in Durban five weeks ago.
However, Ramsay not only feels well prepared but is also in a good place mentally after having the memories of his victory in last year’s European Masters in Switzerland rekindled at the weekend during a visit to the Golf Club of Georgia.
The Scot is an honorary member there after forming an association with the club when he, as the reigning US Amateur champion, he beat Frenchman Julien Guerrier, the Amateur champion at the time, to win the tenth anniversary of the Georgia Cup.
“Dinner with Mrs Ramsay (wife Angela) but turned into surprise party for win last year at Omega,” said Ramsay on his Twitter account. “Great members at Golf Club of Georgia.”
Along with compatriot Stephen Gallacher, Ramsay is making his debut in this week’s event at Dove Mountain, where he arrived on Sunday after initially escaping the winter weather in Georgia.
“I have never played the course or been to Arizona before so it’s a new experience for me,” he said. “I arrived in the States on 9 February and I have been in Atlanta getting some work done, especially on the short game.”
Armed with a new set of clubs, Ramsay started his season with a promising ninth place behind Oosthuizen in South Africa and was in contention heading into the final round of the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship before slipping to joint-23rd after a closing 75.
He then pulled out of the Qatar Masters before missing the cut in the Dubai Desert Classic. He’s now 63rd in the world rankings and needs to climb into the top 50 to get into both the second WGC event of the season in a fortnight’s time and also The Masters. “My attitude has been really good recently, but I caught a viral infection on the Sunday in Abu Dhabi, which just knocked me for six. So it’s almost a re-start for me,” he admitted.
“I’m not sure what the future holds, but I would love a chance to play on the PGA Tour some day. I still have a lot to accomplish on and off the golf course, but I do feel that things are heading in the right direction.
“My immediate goal this season was to get in the WGC-Accenture, so now that is done. I may have to look at some new targets. At the moment I need to simply focus on my weaknesses in the scoring areas and improve them.
“I am really happy being located more in the centre of Edinburgh as I can still spend the day out at The Renaissance Club North Berwick for practice. All in all, things are going well.”