BMW PGA: Old-school course architecture suits Richie Ramsay at Wentworth

Richie Ramsay relishes tough tests and a fast and firm West Course at Wentworth has ignited the fire in his belly heading into this week’s BMW PGA Championship.
Richie Ramsay in action during the 2019 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.Richie Ramsay in action during the 2019 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.
Richie Ramsay in action during the 2019 BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

The Aberdonian has a good record at the Surrey venue, recording top-10 finishes in both 2013 and 2019 before claiming a top-20 spot behind Tyrrell Hatton last year.

Along with Valderrama, it’s one of those courses that he always relishes playing and this week is no different as he joins eight other Scots in the field for the Rolex Series event.

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“It’s just a proper golf course,” said Ramsay of one of the European Tour’s iconic venues. “Especially this week, it is firm and fast.

“Not too much room in the semi-rough, it goes quite quickly into the thick stuff, which can be good and also bad depending how fast it plays

“It puts you under pressure not to hit one-dimensional shots. Four is a great example as you feel you have to hit a draw off there to hold the fairway.

“Seventeen is also a draw to hold the fairway off the left-to-right slope while down 18, when it is playing firm and fast, you know you have to hit a cut off the bunkers. And, when you add wind in there, it adds complications.

“The thought process on the golf course is the hardest thing here and we don’t play all that many courses with old school architecture that tests your mind.”

Ramsay reckons all his victories so far on the circuit have come on courses that require more in terms of a test than big-hitting or in events that come down to a putting competition.

“There are courses where I think I can win and there are courses where I think I could but I need my game to be at its absolute peak for that to happen,” said the Edinburgh-based player.

“It’s no coincidence if you look at the places I’ve won. One was at Crans-sur-Sierre, where the greens were harder. In Morocco, it was deadly if you missed the greens and it was also windy.

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“And, when we played Pearl Valley, it played firm and fast. This course feeds into that type of golf course.”

Traditionally held in May in the past, the BMW PGA moved to a later slot in 2019, when Danny Willett landed the title before Hatton delivered another home success last year.

“I wasn’t overly convinced about a September date, but it does give the course a bit more time,” said Ramsay. "It definitely gives it more chance to play firm and fast, which I think the majority of the guys would say is a better test.

“Whoever wins this week will be the deserved champion. It won’t be a case of someone saying I putted great and hit it okay or just a case of ball-striking being good. It really is everything.”

Ramsay sits 67th in this season’s Race to Dubai and needs to climb into the top 60 to be involved in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in early November.

“The game feels good and I’ve just got to shake off the last two weeks (missing back-to-back cuts), really, and get back to what I can do and it’s on a golf course that favours me,” he said.

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