Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale secure Open spots

David Drysdale shares a kiss with wife/caddie Vicky after his closing 63 at Portstewart. Picture: Getty Images
David Drysdale shares a kiss with wife/caddie Vicky after his closing 63 at Portstewart. Picture: Getty Images
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Richie Ramsay and David Drysdale have secured Open Championship spots after producing storming finishes in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Portstewart.

Ramsay set up his seventh appearance in the game’s oldest major after claiming a share of second place behind runaway winner Jon Rahm after signing off with a 65 for an 18-under-par total at Portstewart.

That secured the first of three spots up for grabs in the season’s third major at Royal Birkdale the week after next, with Drysdale claiming one of the other ones along with Kiwi Ryan Fox.

Drysdale, who will be playing in just his second Open after teeing up in the event for the first time in 2009 at Turnberry, finished with an incredible run of seven successive birdies as he stormed home in 29 for a last-day 63 and a 17-under-par total.

That proved good enough to earn the last of those berths on the strength of a higher world ranking than Daniel Im after the American dropped a shot at the last.

“The Open is a special event and it’s going to be fantastic,” said Ramsay. “Royal Birkdale really suits me and I love playing there. I remember playing at The Amateur there and it’s just a great set-up.

“You want to test your game against the best players in the world and I was fortunate enough to do that this week. It’s going to be even better at The Open and the way I’m playing at the moment, who knows.”

Drysdale said: “I think it’s amazing. I regard The Open as the biggest and best championship on the planet.

“I’ve only played once, in 2009 at Turnberry, and as a golfer you only want to play in the biggest and best events.

“I haven’t played Royal Birkdale so I’m looking forward to playing there in a couple of weeks’ time.”

The double success increases the Scottish contingent in the 146th Open to seven, with Ramsay and Drysdale joining former winner Sandy Lyle and Paul Lawrie, as well as Russell Knox, Martin Laird and Connor Syme.

Laird qualified through the Quicken Loans National last Sunday before amateur Syme shared top spot in one of the final qualifiers at Gailes Links last Tuesday.

Three more spots are up for grabs in the Claret Jug joust in next week’s Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.