The Aberdonian is the sole Scot in the field for this week’s HSBC Champions in Shanghai, having qualified through being in the top 30 in the Race to Dubai this season.
“My game feels good,” said Ramsay, whose last appearance in one of these events was the Bridgestone Invitational in 2013. “I just need to believe more in my ability and play free. I have worried too much about what I don’t want to do and distractions off the course. Now is the time to keep it simple – gym, practice, play and rest.”
Ramsay admitted he is “chasing dreams” in an event won two years ago by compatriot Russell Knox. “I arrived early to settle into the time zone and get some work done in decent conditions,” he added.
Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama defends the title in an event that features world No 1 Dustin Johnson, US Open champion Brooks Koepka and Race to Dubai leader Tommy Fleetwood.
Elsewhere, Michael Stewart birdied three holes on the trot on the back nine before finishing bogey-bogey to sit in the top 10 after the opening round of the PGA EuroPro Tour Championship in Portugal. The Ayreshireman opened with a level-par 72 at Amendoeira Golf Resort, where Englishman Adam Chapman set the pace on 68. Sean Lawrie (75), Conor O’Neil (78) and John Henry (81) all had tough days.
In Ajman, Danny Kay sits joint eighth on four-under, nine off the lead, after two rounds in the MENA Tour’s equivalent.