City-based golfer copis the positive mental attitude of Kiwis
Richie Ramsay reckons his strong finish to the European Tour season is partly due to him adopting the mindset of the All Blacks rugby team.
The Edinburgh-based player maintained his recent good form with a four-under-par 68 in the opening round of the Turkish Airlines Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Belek.
The excellent effort, which included four birdies to finish, left Ramsay sitting joint-12th, just three shots off the lead, in the $7 million Rolex Series event on the Mediterranean coast.
“I’m feeling confident about my game at the moment and that means a massive amount,” said Ramsay, who has recorded three top-ten finishes in his past four starts to jump to 59th in the Race to Dubai.
“Yes, you’ve got to do the work and that adds to the confidence, but golf is so mental.
“I love the rugby and the culture in that sport. The All Blacks may have lost in the semi-finals of the World Cup recently, but they gave everything in that third/fourth play-off match.
“They never give up and always look like they have a smile on their face and they are always moving forward.
“I think you’ve got to try and mirror that because you are going to take a lot of hits out here and, when you are standing on the first tee with a bit of confidence, it makes a world of difference.
“Having a good mindset is probably the biggest thing in this game. There’s a big separation in that respect with the guys right at the top and the middle and then there’s another massive difference between the guys who are here to guys with potential playing on a lower circut.
“Instead of moaning about things, they just get on with it and find a solution. If they see a wall, they don’t turn back but find a solution to get over it. I think I’m quite good at that, but I have learned to be better in the 12 years I’ve been out here.”
As Englishman Tom Lewis and Austrian Mathias Schwab set the pace with matching 65s, Ramsay was delighted with his day’s work in the first of three successive Rolex Series tournaments.
“I hung in there on some holes and putted well at the end,” he added. “It was one of those rounds where four-under was the best score it could have been, which is nice because sometimes I shoot one-under in that type of round. I was working on my putting before I came away with Ian Rae (his long-time coach) on the carpet upstairs in The Renaissance Club when it was raining. We had a hole down on the carpet and he said that consistency wise, the stroke was the best he’d seen it so I took a lot of positives from that.”
Scott Jamieson also finished strongly, picking up three birdies in his last five holes, to card a 67 that left him in a share of sixth spot. “It was very unlike me out there today,” said the Glaswegian. “Everything was just all neat-and-tidy today and I managed more than my share of fairways than I normally do while the rest was pretty solid.”
Bob MacIntyre had a frustrating day on the greens as he had to settle for a 71, one less than David Drysdale, the fourth Scot in the field.