Edinburgh-based Richie Ramsay reckons he could easily have been out in front after the first round of the British Masters in Northumberland.
Ramsay, the leading Scot in this season’s Race to Dubai, was happy enough with his opening three-under 67 at Close House, especially after running up a double-bogey 7 early on.
But, if a number of putts had dropped rather than grazing the edge of the hole, it would have been an even better day’s work in the Sky Sports-sponsored event.
“I know I made five birdies, but I could have made eight,” said Ramsay, who ended the day sitting alongside Rory McIlroy but four shots behind joint leaders Tyrrell Hatton and George Coetzee. “I hit a lot of good putts, but they were just grazing the edges, which has been the same story for me of late.
“I was watching putts and thinking ‘it’s going to be in’, but they would finish right behind the hole.
“It was a good day’s work, though. If I can get the putts to drop, I’ll get that low number and get in the mix.”
Ramsay, who is sitting 23rd on the money list and needs to stay in the top 30 to win a place in next month’s big-money HSBC Champions in China, hadn’t been firing on all cylinders in Wednesday’s pro-am but sorted out what had been wrong on the range with his long-time coach, Ian Rae.
“I just worked on old things, rotation and getting my weight more on the left – old things,” said the 34-year-old. “I then worked on my pace on the putting and I kept my head down on the short putts which was good.”
Stephen Gallacher was disappointed to close with a bogey as he signed for a 71. “I only had a wedge in my hand for my second – but it was the wrong club,” groaned the Bathgate man.
A putter switch is likely before the second round after he suffered the same frustrations as Ramsay on the greens prior to that.
“I’ve been playing well for a while, but my putting has been poor and I think a change is needed,” he added.
Out in one of the last groups, Kirkliston-based Duncan Stewart carded a 71, matching the effort from Cockburnspath’s David Drysdale.