Scotland sweep into GolfSixes quarter-finals

Scotland swept into the quarter-finals of the inaugural GolfSixes with a match to spare after wins over both Belgium and Spain in the opening two sessions today.

Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren enjoyed a winning start in the innovative GolfSixes in St Albans. Picture: Getty Images

The brace of 3-2 victories at the Centurion Club in St Albans meant Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren faced No 2 seeds Thailand in their final group game with a place in tomorrow’s knock-out phase already secured.

The Scots finished with an eagle to beat Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts and Thomas Detry in their first match of the €1million event in Hertfordshire.

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They were three-under for six holes in that success and produced even better figures as they followed it up with an equally impressive win over Spain.

Marc Warren and Richie Ramsay were all smiles after qualifying for the GolfSixes quarter-finals with a match to spare. Picture: Getty Images

Ramsay and Warren finished five-under in that match, helped by another eagle, this one coming at the third, against Pablo Larrazabal and Jorge Campillo.

“We were in the Group of Death and knew we would have to play well to finish in the top two,” said Warren. “To qualify before our final game is definitely a bonus.”

Ramsay added: “We played good in both matches and this afternoon we got off and running with a nice birdie at the first, stopping our opponents getting any momentum.”

Earlier, the Scots claimed the first-ever victory in the new event after Warren holed an 18-foot eagle putt at the last against the Belgians.

Marc Warren and Richie Ramsay were all smiles after qualifying for the GolfSixes quarter-finals with a match to spare. Picture: Getty Images

“Our first experience doesn’t get any better, finishing with an eagle,” said a smiling Warren after converting an opportunity that had been set up by Ramsay finding the green with a rescue from 245 yards.

The putt was close to being for a half after Detry hit the hole with a chip from through the back of the green and couldn’t believe his eyes as the ball spun away.

It was the third time in the match that the Scots had got their noses in front, having won the first and third, both with pars, only for the Belgians to hit back with birdies at the second and fourth.

“I think between the lot of us, we were six or seven-under,” said Ramsay as he highlighted the quality of golf in the match.

The victory earned the Scots a place in the record books after the opening three matches all ended in draws on a cold morning in Hertfordshire.

The event is aimed at attracting a new audience to the game, with innovations including a shortened format, pyrotechnics, a shot clock and walk-on music.

“The whole atmosphere was quite relaxed and there was a wee bit of banter between the teams,” said Warren, who is bidding to repeat a 2007 World Cup success achieved with Colin Montgomerie.

“Once you are over the ball, I suppose it’s just like a normal event because, at the end of the day, you want to perform well.

“But, between shots, we are definitely chatting and interacting more and trying to enjoy ourselves a wee bit. It might do both of us some good to take that attitude into a normal event.” In the other games in Scotland’s group, Thailand and Spain drew 1-1 in the morning before Thailand beat Belgium 2-1 in the second session.

Hosts England, represented by Chris Wood and Andy Sullivan, face a crunch final-session clash against the Netherlands after opening with two draws.