Richie Ramsay is feeling quietly confident he can get in the mix for the first time in a major, insisting his strong Irish Open display “shows I can get the job done in the big ones”.
The Edinburgh-based star has always believed in his own ability, having won the US Amateur before claiming three European Tour titles so far in the professional ranks.
But his confidence has soared to a new high after producing a brilliant performance to finish joint-second behind Spaniard Jon Rahm at Portstewart on Sunday.
Ramsay roared up the leaderboard on the back of a closing 65, securing a career-best £466,000 pay-day for his best performance since winning the Hassan Trophy in Morocco more than two years ago.
The effort saw the 34-year-old climb 171 spots to 170th in the world rankings, as well as securing a place in the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale next week, when he will be among seven Scots in the line-up.
That will be Ramsay’s seventh appearance in golf’s oldest major and, before turning his attention to that, he’s equally excited about another big assignment – this week’s £5.5 million Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Dundonald Links.
“The way I approach Scottish and The Open is now completely different,” said Ramsay, who loves living in the Capital with his wife, Angela, and their one-year-old daughter, Olivia.
“My confidence is high and I want to stay aggressive and shoot low scores. And my last round in Ireland shows I know I can get the job done in the big ones.
“I felt for the last few weeks that I’ve been coming on to a really good game. I took the decision before I went to the French Open a fortnight ago that, irrespective of what happened there, I’d stay out.
“I always get time to practice over the weekend if I don’t make the cut and I gain confidence from that. I’m very strategic in the way I think and that’s paid off.”
It literally did when you look at that whopping cheque heading into his bank account and he’s set to splash out later in the year to treat the Ramsay family.
“The Open spot was a huge bonus, but I’m human like everyone else,” he admitted, laughing. “In these Rolex Series tournaments, the ranking means more but you are also playing for big money.
“I had something I wanted to do for a while, that I’m going to have the opportunity to do now, a bonus I wanted to do for the family.”
More could be in the offing as the Aberdonian, who is attached to The Renaissance Club in East Lothian, heads into two events on courses he reckons can bring out the best in his game, as Portstewart did.
“If Dundonald is set up with a bit of rough, it’s right up my alley,” he insisted of the Ayrshire venue. “As for Royal Birkdale, it’s one of my favourite courses.
“It has the feeling of (home course) Royal Aberdeen with the dunes and some of the tee shots – a golf course I’d be happy to play every week.”