Richie Ramsay has rolled up his sleeves and is ready for the fight as he bids to get himself out of trouble for the first time since becoming a European Tour player a decade ago.
As always seems to be the case, a group of Scottish players are heading into this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in desperate need of a big cheque on home soil to hang on to their cards. It’s job done for Stephen Gallacher, who is 90th in the Race to Dubai following a consistent run of results. Scott Jamieson (104th) and David Drysdale (108th) are also currently inside the card zone, which is back up to the top 110 again this season after being reduced to 100 last year.
However, there is still work to be done in the final three regular events by Ramsay, who is 127th on the money list, as well as Connor Syme (121st) and Marc Warren (150th). Bradley Neil, the other Scot holding a main Tour card this year, is further down the list in 193rd in his rookie season.
“Probably greater pressure than I’m used to,” admitted Ramsay with a smile of his situation, which has been caused by the Edinburgh-based Aberdonian mis-firing for most of the season.
A promising campaign looked to be on the cards when he tied for sixth in the Dubai Desert Classic in February but he hasn’t managed a top-10 finish since. “I’ve just not played as well as I should have played,” added the three-time European Tour winner. “I’ve not taken opportunities and I’ver just got to deal with where I’m at (in the rankings).
“I pretty much broke it down in detail to find out where the problems were. I feel that it’s mainly been from 10 feet in with my putting and also needing to hit my wedges a bit closer than I have been. You can get so much momentum from hitting a wedge close and knocking the putt in. That’s two shots straight away and the difference that makes over four rounds is big and is massive over the course of a season.
“I’ve been losing too many shots from 10-12 feet specifically this season, so I’ve been working hard on my green reading as I felt that’s where the problems were.
“It’s just a case of going out there and playing good golf over the next three weeks. I know what I have to do.”
This is Ramsay’s tenth year holding a card and he has not finished outside the top 100 in the Race to Dubai in that time.
He’s encouraged heading into this week by a finishing second in the Dunhill Links event in 2014, having also recorded a top-five finish on his debut in it 2009 “Having been there and done it in this tournament definitely gives me a bit of confidence,” he said.