Richie Ramsay doesn’t want to have any Dunhill Links regrets when he’s 70

Richie Ramsay tees off on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St AndrewsRichie Ramsay tees off on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews
Richie Ramsay tees off on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews
Richie Ramsay is ready to keep his foot on the gas in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship after admitting he doesn’t want to have any regrets when he’s sitting at home in his slippers at 70.

Second in the pro-am event in 2014, the 36-year-old Edinburgh-based player is in the mix again heading into the weekend after backing up his first-day 65 at Kingsbarns with a 67 at St Andrews.

On 12-under-par, he’s just two shots off the lead, held by Englishman Matthew Jordan, with Calum Hill and Russell Knox also to the fore in the strongest-ever field for the £4 million tournament.

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“You’ve got to stay aggressive,” declared Ramsay after signing for six birdies on the Old Course, where his sole dropped shot came at the Road Hole.

“There’s times where that strategy is not going to come off. But, if you keep the foot down and you keep sort of playing aggressive, there will be one opportunity that will come along and you’ve got to snatch it as much as possible.”

Ramsay, who has taken up here where he left off when finishing sixth in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth last week, added: “I’ve been out here a long time. I’ve managed to win three times, but that’s over 12 years.

“Opportunity doesn’t arise all the time and when you do, you’ve just got to go for it.

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“Even if it doesn’t come off, you can walk away and be like, I gave it everything, whereas if you play conservatively you end up looking at what might have been.

“And I don’t want to be sitting with my slippers on when I’m 70 thinking ‘I could’ve won the Dunhill Links.’”

Helped by two wins, Kirkcaldy-born Hill has already secured his European Tour card for next season through the Challenge Tour, joining Grant Forrest, Bob MacIntyre, Liam Johnston and David Law in making that step up in the space of 12 months.

“We’ve had a huge influx of players in the 20s to 30s and it’s good they have come through as a group as that makes loads of difference,” observed Ramsay.

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“Calum is showing what he’s capable of doing. He’s another one that’s got huge amount of talent and just you’re always looking for that guy to keep making a progression because a lot of guys sometimes tend to plateau out. But, when you open up the app and you see a Saltire at the top of it, it’s good to have somebody to pull for.”

Another Dunhill debutant, Knox was delighted with a second-round 66 at Carnoustie, where he equalled the best round of the day.

“Shooting six-under was definitely a bonus,” said the Scottish No. 1. “I knew anything kind of under par would be good.”

He now heads for Kingsbarns and added: “It will be nice to go out to tomorrow and hammer down there and see how low you can go. So just got to go out and continue to be super-aggressive and see where I finish.”

Scott Jamieson is next best among the home contingent on nine-under, one ahead of MacIntyre.