Give Scottish golfers benefit of doubt over Porsche European Open withdrawals - even if it didn't look good

It’s a question lots of people have been asking over the last few days: why did four Scots all withdraw during last week’s Porsche European Open in Hamburg?

Richie Ramsay was one of the Scots who withdrew in Hamburg.
Richie Ramsay was one of the Scots who withdrew in Hamburg.

Well, it actually seems nothing more than a coincidence, even though it contributed to what was probably the most disappointing week of the 2022 DP World Tour season so far for the Caledonian contingent.

Grant Forrest, the first Scot to see his race end early on the Porsche Nord Course at Green Eagle, withdrew to an “ongoing shoulder injury” while an “ongoing hip injury” then led to Richie Ramsay also pulling out before the second round.

David Drysdale was next to fall by the wayside due to a “personal reason” before Ewen Ferguson was also added to the list, though no information was shared about what had happened to him.

In total, 12 players either withdrew or retired during the event, with South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout having a pop at them on social media over the weekend. “Not much respect shown by them for the sponsors and fellow players,” he wrote on Twitter in a post that also included three thumbs down emojis.

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The former Dubai Desert Classic champion is entitled to his opinion, which will also be shared, no doubt, by many others, and I agree that a dozen does seem a high number.

However, and I’ve known all of them for a good few years now, I don’t think any of the Scots are the types to throw in the towel without having a proper reason for doing so.

It’s been well known that Forrest, who recorded his breakthrough win on the circuit in last year’s Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews, has been struggling recently with an injury. Just look at his results and you’ll see he’s not been firing on all cylinders.

Ramsay had also been hampered by his hip problem before he came close to winning the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry in early May.

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On the back of that effort, the three-time tour winner was in with a chance of securing a US Open spot through a European Qualifying Series that ended with the event in Germany.

There’s no way that he’d have allowed that opportunity to slip from his hands, as ended up being the case, as he slipped from ninth spot to outside the cut-off mark, without being able to put up a fight.

As for Drysdale, he might be having a tough time at the moment, but I can assure you that he wouldn’t walk away from an event without good reason, so there should be no issues there, either.

The same goes for Ferguson, who is determined to use every opportunity he gets to try and kick on after landing his maiden win in the Qatar Masters earlier in the year.

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Yes, of course, what happened last week didn’t look good from a Scottish perspective, as was the fact that only Scott Jamieson and Connor Syme made it to the weekend from an 11-strong starting contingent.

Let’s not get carried away, though, by reading too much into that and also the US Open at Brookline likely to be very light on Scots because we’ve got a good crop at the moment and you can see more ups than downs over the next few months.