Richie Ramsay relishing final two rounds in English Championship

Scot reckons premium on accuracy will suit him at Hanbury Manor

Richie Ramsay his his tee shot at the fourth in the second round of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Richie Ramsay his his tee shot at the fourth in the second round of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Richie Ramsay reckons a premium on accuracy could play into his hands in the final two rounds of the English Championship at Hanbury Manor in Hertfordshire.

The 37-year-old sits six shots off the lead at the halfway stage after Englishman Andy Sullivan carded a sensational 62 to move to 14-under-par.

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But Ramsay, a three-time European Tour winner feels his game is getting better with each event since the circuit's restart a fortnight ago.

The Aberdonian also believes hot weather in the south of England can create a test for the final 36 holes that should suit his renowned straight-hitting.

"I'm moving in the right direction," he said after backing up opening 66 with a bogey-free 68 to sit just outside the top 20 on a congested leaderboard. "It's just fine tuning it and getting match fit, if you want.

"My swing feels really good. I'm in a really good position and I've just got to keep doing the same things as I feel there is a really low number in there.

"If I can get in the mix on the back nine Sunday, that's where the pressure comes and I enjoy things. The goal is to progress to that stage and, if the door is ajar, you've got to go for the win."

Ramsay, who birdied the second, 14th and 18th in his second circuit, added: "I really like the way they have set up the golf course. It's completely different to normal where the fairways are reasonably soft but if you miss it on the sides it kicks away. It's difficult to judge how the ball is going to come out of the rough.

"With the heat today, it's going to dry the greens out, which is going to put a premium on accuracy and for me that is great. That plays into my hands.

"I've just got try and tuck myself in behind the leaders and make a run on Sunday."

Connor Syme also sits on eight-under after recovering from dropping two shots in the first five holes to add a 69 to his 65 on Thursday.

"I got off to such a bad start as they are the scoring holes early doors," said the 25-year-old Fifer. I just didn't hit a good shot down the first and ended up making a 5, which felt like a double-bogey the way the hole is playing.

"I just plodded along for a few holes after that, eventually got one to drop at the par-3 sixth and played lovely through to the par-5 ninth," he added of a burst of four straight birdies.

"I maybe could have been a couple better, but I'd have taken two-under after my start."

Sullivan, a three-time winner in 2015 before seeing his career stall, carded seven birdies on the back nine as he stormed home in 28 to take a one-shot lead over compatriot Laurie Canter (65) and South African Dean Burmester (63).

"It was very satisfying. I’m really happy with my day’s work," said Sullivan, who won the Scottish Stroke-Play Championship at Blairgowrie in 2011 before playing in the Walker Cup that year at Royal Aberdeen.

Despite running up a triple-bogey 7 at the eighth, David Drysdale comfortably made the cut on seven-under, one better than Marc Warren.

David Law (six-under), Scott Jamieson (five-under) and Ewen Ferguson (five-under) also progresed, with Jamieson reeling off eight birdies in nine holes as he carded a 63 in bouncing back from an opening 74.

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