Richie Ramsay aiming to use Dunhill Links to stop 'complacency' creeping in
On the back of his fourth DP World Tour title triumph in the Cazoo Classic at Hillside in July, the Edinburgh-based Aberdonian sits 29th in this season’s DP World Tour Rankings.
He’s on course to qualify for the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November but, heading into this week’s assignment at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, Ramsay is seeking another spark.
“I need to be very careful I don’t get complacent,” he said. “I need to set myself a target. The Race to Dubai is not secure until I get on the plane and it’s not mathematically possible to be out.
“So I need to pick up as many points as possible and this is a big week for us. I’ve done well here before and it boosts your confidence a bit.
“Dubai is a big thing for me, but I need to focus on the idea that I just make the cut and make some points. I need to aim high. Top tens are where all the money is.”
Ramsay is among 12 players flying the Saltire in this week’s $5 million event, which is being headlined by FedEx Cup winner and Race to Dubai Rankings leader Rory McIlroy and US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick.
“Every time there’s a shift in your golf, up and down, it brings challenges,” added the 39-year-old. “Maybe people want more of your time. Which is a nice problem to have because you’ve accomplished something.
“The number of the people you speak to who get to the top and then say ‘well, where do I go now?’. You need a sense of purpose, you need something that you can climb towards. That’s a danger that I need to watch.”
It already feels like Dunhill week after the temperature plummeted at the week and heavy rain and strong winds are forecast for Friday.
“Not ideal for me,” said Ramsay, smiling. “It’s not like most people expect, ‘you’ll love this!’ I’m not waiting for the wind getting up and the rain coming in! Days like today when it’s cool and there’s a decent breeze, this would kind of suit me.
There was a couple of squalls yesterday, my ball started moving on the greens, wouldn’t stay on the tee, the temperature dropped at least five or six degrees and it was baltic. But you’re going to get that and you just have to ride it out.”
Four DP World Tour titles have fallen to Scots this season, with Ramsay being joined by double champion Ewen Ferguson and, less than a fortnight ago, by Bob MacIntyre in tasting victory.
“I think Scottish golf on the pro circuit is in a good place,” he said. “The guys on tour, there’s always a Saltire up there which is great to see.
“Especially with the age difference going from Davie Drysdale and Stevie Gallacher to the younger guys, there’s 20 years of a difference there.
“This is a personal feeling, but I feel a lot of countries have overtaken us, outside of the pro ranks.
"Last week I saw the French set up and spoke about what facilities they have, how the money’s distributed and everything.”
“This morning, I went to look at the facility at Carnoustie and was really impressed. They’re giving kids free lessons, £20 a month to use the indoor centre in the winter.
“That stuff is brilliant, it’s great, but I think there are huge strides to be made from where the pro guys are at present and the guys coming through. A massive improvement is needed there.”