Given that he was worried that he might be forced to miss out on a sixth Open appearance due to illness, Edinburgh-based Richie Ramsay wasn’t too disheartened by his opening effort at Royal Troon.
“I had a really great attitude today,” admitted the 33-year-old after signing for a two-over-par 73 that contained 14 pars with one birdie – at the fourth – and three bogeys mixed in.
“I hit maybe one shot that was sort of below average and it was on the green. I played lovely. Picked off my shots, a lot of which were down the flag and the target lane. I just didn’t make anything.”
That included a good birdie chance at the last, where the three-time European Tour winner hit a 4-iron to 15 feet at the 457-yard closing hole.
“It would nice if I could have dropped that putt,” added Ramsay, who matched one of his playing partners, American Harris English, and beat the other one, Kiwi Danny Lee, by five shots. “I think level par, probably today once the guys go through the whole course, will be a decent score.”
Ramsay, who earned his place in the 156-strong field through the Scottish Open, hadn’t been able to play a practice round after falling ill earlier in the week. “I feel miles better,” he reported after joking that reporters should perhaps not get too close. “From about 11am to 7pm on Tuesday, I was in bed or ... somewhere else!
“I don’t know what it was I picked up, but just suddenly felt unwell. I’ve never had that before at all. But fortunately it came on really quick and also left really quick. On Wednesday, I wouldn’t say I was 100 per cent, but I felt ten times better. At one point on Tuesday, though, I was lying in bed and thinking ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to play’. I just was throwing up all the time.”
Ramsay, who is attached to The Renaissance Club, set out today trying to extend his run of cuts in the major to three, having failed three times to make it to the weekend before first achieving that feat at Muirfield in 2013 then repeating it at St Andrews 12 months ago.
“It will be a case of just a little late practice this afternoon and then rest up for tomorrow, because I’ve got to go shoot a good number to stay in it,” he said.
Paul Lawrie, who stages his Match Play event at Archerfield next month, opened with an equally-solid 72.