Richie Ramsay’s paternity break has coincided with the three-time European Tour winner suffering a recurrence of the eye problem which forced him to miss six weeks towards the end of last season.
“I’ve had to visit the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion because a problem I had last season kicked off again in Dubai,” revealed Ramsay in a blog for his new sponsor, Carbon Financial.
“I’m back on drops for that. It’s an inflammation of the pupil,” he added. “They know how to treat it but there may be an underlying issue. I’m having to wear sunglasses a lot, even inside when it is bright.”
The Aberdonian recently started a break to be with his wife, Angela, for the imminent birth of the couple’s first child and is not likely to back playing until mid-April, a month before his Hassan Trophy defence in Morocco.
“Hopefully we can get that [the eye problem] sorted out before the next tournament in my diary, which might be the Spanish Open at Valderrama in April,” he continued.
“I remember leading the Andalucia Masters there almost wire-to-wire, battling with Sergio Garcia and Miguel Angel Jimenez. It is a fantastic golf course and a great challenge. It is somewhere I know I can do well.”
Grantown-on-Spey’s Duncan Stewart earned a near £2000 reward after finishing second in the inaugural MENA Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
The figure was a combination of prize-money and his membership fee for the third-tier circuit this season being covered.
“It’s been a very worthwhile trip as it gives me something to build on for the year,” said Stewart after carding scores of 75 and 71 in testing conditions for a two-over-par total to finish two shots behind Spaniard Javier Gallegos.
“I played really solid today and could have been a few shots better but I’m happy with the result.”
Based until now in the Middle East and North Africa, the circuit, whjich has Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke as its patron, is expanding its footprint this year into nine countries across three continents.
It boasts 21 events in total, but Edinburgh-based Stewart will be limited to sporadic appearances due to the Challenge Tour remaining his priority.
“My next event is the Barclays Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour next month,” he added. “But I will play the MENA Tour event at Sotograne in Spain at the start of April.”
Glenbervie man Fraser Moore (78-79) also secured his card in joint-26th.
This week’s Australian Women’s Open in Adelaide marks the return to a venue where Kylie Walker made one of her last appearances as an amateur.
“Being here is bringing back great memories as I played the World Amateur at The Grange in 2008,” said Walker, who is exempt along with Catriona Matthew for the event starting tomorrow. “The course is brilliant with a good strong set up.”
Referring to a brace of missed cuts so far on her trip Down Under, the two-time LET winner added: “I’ve played decent the last couple of weeks but just made a few too many mistakes, which was frustrating.
“There’s been good golf in there though and I feel I can do well this week and have a good start to season.”
Greig Hutcheon has five shots to make up on European Tour winner Ricardo Santos in the final round of an Algarve Pro Golf Tour event at Palmares in Lagos.
The Paul Lawrie Golf Centre player is lying eighth after rounds of 71 and 66, with Santos, the 2012 Madeira Island Open winner, holding a one-shot lead after a brace of 66s.
Jordan McColl (Kingsbarns Pro Academy) is joint-17th on 141, two better than Craig Lawrie and seven better than Conor O’Neil.
Sole Scot Daniel Young missed the cut by three shots after rounds of 77 and 72 in the Red Sea Little Venice Open, the second of three Alps Tour events in Egypt.
Frenchman Franck Daux (63-71) takes a two-shot lead into the final round at Sokhna over England’s Matt Wallace (68-68).