Richie Ramsay opens up on 'raw emotion' of his Cazoo Classic celebration
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The 39-year-old Scot produced a memorable moment after holing an eight-foot par putt on the 72nd hole to win the Cazoo Classic at Hillside on Sunday, roaring out in delight and dancing around on the green on the Lancashire coast.
His reaction was down to a number of things, notably it being a return to winning ways after seven years, a first title triumph since daughter Olivia was born and redemption for his last-hole disappointment in the Betfred British Masters earlier in the year.
“You obviously think about winning and what you are going to do,” Ramsay told The Scotsman. “I think it was just one of those points where the floodgates opened and it was just raw emotion, a huge adrenaline rush. After I’d hugged Guy (Tilston, his caddie), I just cried.
“I don’t know why, but it’s been a lot of ups and downs the last few years and while you can say you want to win and believe you can win, but to do it is a different thing.”
The Edinburgh-based Aberdonian now has four DP World Tour titles to his name, but, with all due respect to his successes in the South African Open, European Masters and Hassan Trophy between 2008 and 2015, this one is probably the sweetest.
“I’m still buzzing,” added Ramsay, who covered the last five holes in three-under-par at the Southport venue to land a pay-day worth just over £250,000. “I can sleep with the best of them, but I didn’t really get much sleep last night. I woke up at 4.30am and thought ‘did I want that?’ and said to myself ‘yeah, I did!’ Then I couldn’t sleep after that.”
Ramsay described it as “the biggest kick in the teeth if my career” as a chance to win the British Masters slipped from his grasp following a double-bogey 6 at the 72nd hole at The Belfry in May. Making amends for that disappointment the first time he found himself back in contention proved very satisfying indeed.
“Oh yeah, hugely,” he admitted. “The Belfry was tough, I’ll be honest. That night I phoned (wife) Angela and I was in tears. That wasn’t easy and I didn’t sleep well for a good while as I questioned what I was doing.
“But, when I sat down and looked at it, I tried to be as pragmatic as possible and 99 per cent of what I did that week was brilliant. It was just one per cent that let me down and I kept trying to tell myself that to change the narrative.
“I got a little bit indecisive, hit one bad shot and paid the price. But, because of that, it makes this win even better. I think any time you go through adversity or a bit of hardship, if you can come out the other side it’s another layer of character in your armoury.
“It almost feels like you can flip it and say ‘I am better equipped now to do it down the stretch’ because you know that you pretty much did it all bar one shot. To get it done at the first attempt after The Belfry is big because you think, ‘hold on, we can roll with this and go looking for No 5’.”
Ramsay joined Qatar Masters champion Ewen Ferguson in delivering Scottish success on the DP World Tour this season just a fortnight after he’d been forced to sit out the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club, where he’s based, due to illness.
“This season has been a real roller coaster,” he admitted. “I started off feeling I could do really well and I played steady at the start. Game as really good then got injured. Came back then had The Belfry, played well after that then the injury came back.
“I then had a trip to London to get some injections and that went really well, played good in both the BMW and Ireland then Scotland was the red flag only for illness to strike and that knocks you back. I’ve got from feeling I can win one week to two weeks later not even playing. That was probably part of the emotion as well.”
On the back of the win, Ramsay has jumped 154 spots to 175th in the Official World Golf Rankings while he’s up 37 places to 20th in the DP World Tour Rankings. “I’ve got the freedom with my schedule now and can take time off with Angela and Olivia if I want to,” he said. “That’s huge for me. It gives me a chance to make a decision if my body isn’t feeling quite right.”
Having made no secret of wanting to become a winner again for her, what had Olivia made of it? “I spoke to her last night,” he said. “They are actually in America at the moment, so they were watching on the TV. My friend sent me a video and they were jumping around. When the guy mentioned in commentary that the trophy was for Olivia, she was saying ‘I’ve got a trophy for myself’. She was loving it and Angela was also jumping about. They had a good celebration last night.”
Ramsay himself had a “few drinks” with Tilston, one of the twins who are well-kent caddies in the European game. “I said to him last night ‘we won this’,” he said. “Yeah, I picked up the trophy but, as far as I am concerned, it was an effort from both of us.
“He knows that and I respect what he says and I know he respects what I say. I know that he’s part of the cog that turns the wheel and he’s now two up on wins over his brother (laughing).”
A common component in all four of Ramsay’s victories has been his trusty coach, Ian Rae. “I don’t know what to say about him, really,” he admitted. “He’s there all the time.
“To have someone you can trust and speak to openly and you know they are going to give you an open and thought-provoking response is brilliant because there are a lot of ‘yes’ men out there. Ian tells it like it is and I trust him implicitly with my game and that’s such a huge thing. The hours and work he puts in, it’s second to none.”