Ramsay eyes ‘retirement’ by winning in Aberdeen

Richie Ramsay reckons he will be able to retire immediately and live off the memories if the Royal Aberdeen member can win the Scottish Open on home soil this summer.

Richie Ramsay. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Richie Ramsay. Picture: Ian Rutherford

The Aberdeen Asset Management-sponsored event received another boost yesterday when Darren Clarke, the 2011 Open champion, and former world No 1 Lee Westwood added their names to the early entrants for a tournament taking place for the first time in the Granite City on 10-13 July.

Along with defending champion Phil Mickelson, two-times major winner Rory McIlroy and FedEx Cup leader Jimmy Walker, they are both excited to use the Balgownie links as preparation for the following week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.

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But, while the Scottish Open is now confirmed on the schedules of ISM stablemates Clarke and Westwood, it had already been marked in thick pen by Ramsay, who will be enjoying a rare feat for a Tour player by teeing up in an event, certainly one as big as this, at his home club.

“It is going to be the toughest but also easiest tournament I’ll ever play,” said the 30-year-old, who received honorary membership following his US Amateur Championship win in 2006. “The support will be incredible but focusing and not worrying about what everyone else is going to expect from me at Royal Aberdeen is going to be really tough.

“People will expect that I’ll be able to turn up and play the course blind but I’m not the 14-year-old that knew every yardage on the course. With return trips, though, I’ll hopefully get to know every piece of grass on the course and also get used to some of the changes.

“If I won the Scottish Open this year, I could pretty much retire the day after. For the rest of my life I’d be happy to live off that. I know Paul Lawrie’s major was the Open Championship but, for me, it’s the Scottish Open.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Gall-acher was the only player to be added to next week’s Masters line-up through climbing into the world’s top 50 between the first cut-off at the end of last year and the final one following the publication of the latest rankings.

While the 39-year-old had virtually guaranteed his Augusta National debut following a top-ten finish in last month’s WGC-Cadillac Championship at Miami, he didn’t want to tempt fate but, having jumped up a spot to 37th, Gallacher has ended up making it comfortably.

Australian Steven Bowditch has also secured a spot after his win in the Valero Texas Open on Sunday night, leaving next week’s field standing at 97 with only one more berth up for grabs to the winner of this week’s Shell Houston Open.