Richie Ramsay in top 10 in British Masters after staying patient

Richie Ramsay holed some good putts late on in his second round in the British Masters at Close House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
Richie Ramsay holed some good putts late on in his second round in the British Masters at Close House. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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Richie Ramsay was rewarded for staying patient as he led a six-strong Scottish contingent into the final two rounds of the British Masters at Close House in Northumberland.

The Aberdonian found himself becoming frustrated after opening his second round in the Sky Sports-supported event with eight pars as most others in the field were making birdies on a rain-softened course.

But he transformed his day by covering the remainder of the holes in three-under, signing off with a 45-foot birdie putt at the par-3 18th.

That gave him a second 67 for a six-under total, leaving the three-time European Tour winner sitting joint-10th behind halfway leader Tyrrell Hatton.

“Today was a lesson that you need to keep belief in the value of patience,” said Ramsay, who trails Hatton by six shots after the Englishman backed up an opening 63 with an equally impresive 65.

“I was becoming a little bit frustrated after starting with eight pars, but I knew I just had to stick with it and got my reward when I birdied the ninth.”

Ramsay reckoned that effort had been from 28 feet and, though he then made an even longer one to finish, he was just as pleased with par saves at the 16th and 17th.

“They were both momentum builders and, having played solid again, it was good to then hole that great putt at the last,” he added.

Scott Jamieson is next best among the ‘Tartan Army’ after carding a second successive 68 to sit in a share of 25th, with Marc Warren maintaining his recent good form with a bogey-free 67 to sit joint-35th on three-under.

David Drysdale (67), Duncan Stewart (67) and Stephen Gallacher (69) all just scraped in on two-under, with the latter two both surviving thanks to late eagles.

“I knew I needed something like that as I was struggling,” said Stewart of his 3 at the sixth - his 15th hole. “I’d hit a horrendous shot at the hole before and was lucky not to go in the water.

“I probably hit best drive all day at the sixth, which is uphill from tee to green, then one of best 5-woods I’ve ever hit and rolled it in for the eagle.”

Gallacher’s came at the 13th and was very timely indeed after a double-bogey two holes earlier had seen him slip below the cut line.

“I holed a 15 footer to save par at the 12th before hitting a rescue to 15th for my eagle then drving the green at the 350-yard 17th for a birdie,” he reported afterwards.

“I had to dig deep in the end but I’m pleased to be through to the weekend and now I’ll be trying to go as low as I can in the last two rounds.”

Russell Knox was the odd one out among a seven-strong Scottish starting contingent, the world No 61 falling four shots short despite a second-round 68.

This was his last outing of the 2017 season before turning his attention to the start of the PGA Tour wraparound campaign.