Richie Ramsay 'sticking to guns over big reassessment' when he hits 40

Richie Ramsay may call time on his professional career at the end of next year after insisting that a return to winning ways hasn’t changed the timeline for a “big reassessment”.

Fresh from his victory in the Cazoo Classic at Hillside last Sunday, the 39-year-old heads a 16-strong Scottish contingent in the Hero Open, which starts on Thursday at Fairmont St Andrews.

Ramsay has now recorded four DP World Tour title triumphs, including wins in three decades, but the latest triumph hasn’t necessarily altered the possibility of his playing career ending early.

“I sat down with (wife) Angela and we talked about what I wanted to do and what I needed around me to be successful,” said the Edinburgh-based Aberdonian of a chat that had taken place a couple of years ago.

Richie Ramsay in action during the Hero Open Pro-Am at Fairmont St Andrews. Picture: Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images.

“I said I would play until the end of next year and then have a big reassessment of what I want to do. I felt that was enough time, it’s long enough away but also close enough to be a goal.

“I still believed I had more to give, but was there a new challenge to re-ignite that purpose? I managed to do that, but I’m sticking to my guns and will reassess at the end of next year.

“I might play for one more year, or maybe for five more years, but now I have options, which is really nice.

“I never wanted to be put into a corner where there was only one decision I could make. That freedom is really nice and makes you more relaxed, it allows you to chase stuff without a downside.”

Ramsay is out with defending champion Grant Forrest and Kiwi Ryan Fox, the highest-ranked player in the field, at Fairmont St Andrews, where he had long-time coach Ian Rae walking with him for nine holes on Tuesday.

“He’s got that determination to do things well and he’s got a determination to win,” said Rae of his star pupil. “He’s very process driven so he practices well, plays well and lives well. He does everything really well. It’s not a given that’s going to give you success, but it’s a great way of getting success and he’s always been like that.

“The thing I’ve always liked is that he doesn’t accept mediocrity. If it’s poor, he’ll say it’s poor and he’ll also never expect me to say ‘that’s okay’ when it’s not.

“We’ve both got a pretty high ceiling and I can honestly say that in the 22 years or whatever we’ve never had a bad word because he knows me and I know him. If he’s complaining about something, I’ll let him do it then we’ll discuss it.”

The duo’s relationship is one of the longest in European golf. “I’ve enjoyed the journey and I’ve loved seeing him progress and come through from amateur golf and he’s been a winner at every level,” added Rae.

The Torrance Course at the Fife venue is playing much softer than the Old Course did for the 150th Open a fortnight ago, though, according to Ramsay, its clifftop setting should ensure that ball control will be rewarded.

Others flying the Saltire include Nairn’s Calum Scott, who is among five amateurs in the field, and recent third-time Challenge Tour winner Liam Johnston.

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