Richie Ramsay battling to retain European Tour card

Richie Ramsay is looking for a strong performance in the Dunhill Links Championship
Richie Ramsay is looking for a strong performance in the Dunhill Links Championship
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Richie Ramsay has rolled up his sleeves and is ready for the fight as he bids to get himself out of trouble for the first time since becoming a European Tour player a decade ago.

As always seems to be the case, a group of Scottish players are heading into this week’s Dunhill Links Championship in desperate need of a big cheque on home soil to hang on to their cards.

It’s job done for Stephen Gallacher, who is sitting 90th in the Race to Dubai following a consistent run of results. Scott Jamieson (104th) and David Drysdale (108th) are also currently inside the card zone, which is back up to the top 110 again this season after being reduced to 100 last year.

However, there is still work to be done in the final three regular events by Ramsay, who is sitting 127th on the money-list, as well as Connor Syme (121st) and Marc Warren (150th).

“Probably greater pressure than I’m used to,” admitted Ramsay with a smile of his situation, which has been caused by the Edinburgh-based man mis-firing for most of the season.

A promising campaign looked to be on the cards when he tied for sixth in the Dubai Desert Classic in February but hasn’t managed a top-ten finish since.

“I’ve just not played as well as I should have played,” he added. “I’ve not taken opportunites and I’ve just got to deal with where I’m at (in the rankings).

“I pretty much broke it down in detail to find out where the problems were. I feel that it’s mainly been from ten feet in with my putting and also needing to hit my wedges a bit closer than I have been. You can get some much momentum from hitting a wedge close and knocking the putt in. That’s two shots straight away and the difference that makes over four rounds is big and is massive over the course of a season. I’ve been losing too many shots from 10-12 feet specifically this season, so I’ve been working hard on my green reading as I felt that’s where the problems were. It’s just a case of going out there and playing good golf over the next three weeks. I know what I have to do.”

This is Ramsay’s tenth year holding a card and he’s not finished outside the top 100 in the Race to Dubai in that time.

He’s encouraged heading into this week by a finishing second in the Dunhill Links in 2014, having also recorded a top-five finish on his debut in 2009.

“Having been there and done it in this event definitely gives me a bit of confidence,” he said. “My head has been spinning a little bit, to be honest. It’s been a busy year off the course and I’ve also had a few health issues here and there that have knocked me sideways. That plays with your mind and I don’t think my mind has been as clear as it could have been this year. I’ve just got to go out and play well this week, next week at Walton Heath then the week after that at Valderrama.

“If I can aim high, get in the mix here and even aim for a win, then hopefully I can have a good result and then suddenly my situation flips on its head. Dubai and all those sorts of things could then come into the equation.”