'Japanese mindset' helps Richie Ramsay lead strong Scottish start in BMW PGA
Ramsay, a solid performer at the Surrey venue, led the way with a six-under-par 66, one better than in-form Syme’s latest opening salvo and two less than Hill’s afternoon effort while Gallacher, who paid his first visit here as a teenager to watch his uncle Bernard play in the event, is also handily-placed following his 69.
On a glorious autumn day that felt more like a summer one, Ramsay covered the final 11 holes in six under, producing a burst of three straight birdies from the tenth then finishing 4-4. “Just happy to play well,” declared the Edinburgh-based Aberdonian.
Apparently, that hadn’t been the case a fortnight as the 2012 winner suffered a disappointing missed cut in the Omega European Masters at Crans-sur-Sierre. “I was a little bit lost up the mountain in Switzerland,” admitted Ramsay, who attributed his transformation in such a short time to his trusty coach, Ian Rae.
“A lot of the credit has got to go to Ian because I was not in a great place a few weeks ago and we had a discussion about where I was and what I was doing with my swing. It was actually good that I missed the cut. It gave me a weekend to figure things out and that's definitely shown from today's performance.”
In an event that requires accuracy off the tee, Ramsay has recorded two top-ten finishes and made the cut in nine of his last ten appearances. Following Rae’s words of wisdom, he’s off to a great start this time around. “It’s having someone there you trust and also someone who is not scared to tell you something that is bad,” he said of the former Scottish national coach. “I’ve been around long enough where you don’t need to be told: Yes you are great.
“I just love when I get hold of something and know I’m going to improve. You are trying to be consistent every day so there is change over a long period of time. It has a little bit to do with the Japanese mindset as well. There is a lot of stuff they look at about continual improvement.”
Brimming with confidence on the back of three successive top-ten finishes, Syme was also pleased with his day’s work. “It was the same as the last few weeks. I was just trying to really commit to all the shots I am seeing and obviously it’s resulting in some good scores at the moment,” he said. “I felt I left a few shots out there, which is crazy considering I came here last year and thought this course was so difficult.”
Few people in the field know it better than Gallacher. “I must have 13 or 14 when I first came here and maybe even younger,” he said after signing for six birdies. The 48-year-old is pleased to be making cuts again. “Just got something going and hopefully I can keep it up,” he added.
After dropping two shots late on, including a 6 to finish after leaving himself fuming after finding the water with his approach, Ryder Cup team member Bob MacIntyre had to settle for a level-par 72.
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