Richie Ramsay gas Dubai in his sights after top-ten finish in Dunhill Links
Richie Ramsay has the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in his sights after transforming his year with back-to-back top-ten finishes on the European Tour.
The 36-year-old wasn’t even in the field for either the BMW PGA Championship or Alfred Dunhill Links Championship just over a fortnight ago, but talk about grabbing an opportunity with both hands.
Tying for sixth in the circuit’s flagship event at Wentworth had lifted him to 62nd in the Race to Dubai, effectively securing his spot in the Turkish Airlines Open, the first of three Rolex Series events at the end of the season.
He’s now added the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa to his schedule after backing that up with a share of tenth spot in the Alfred Dunhill Championship, signing off with a birdie in a closing 68 on the Old Course at St Andrews.
“Sets up the year very well for me,” he admitted after jumping to 55th, having taken his earnings for the last two weeks to around £250,000. “It’s one step at a time. Turkey was last week and the goal this week was to get into Nedbank. Now Dubai is my goal and give (daughter) Olivia a holiday there.”
Needing to climb into the top 50 to achieve that target, Ramsay is sitting out this week’s Spanish Open before aiming to keep his roll going in the Italian Open, another Rolex Series event. “So cool to play well at St Andrews as it’s a great place,” he said. “After a seven-week run, I’m looking to spend some family time and then get back to it sort of on the weekend before Italy, which is another big week.”
Dundee-based Victor Perez became the first Frenchman to win the Dunhill Links title after finishing a shot ahead of Englishman Matthew Southgate.
On what proved a bit of a flat final day, Perez closed with a 70 to finish with a 22-under-par 266 total. It had been advantage Southgate until a two-shot swing at the par-5 14th, with Perez following a birdie there with four pars to close as he secured his maiden European Tour win.
“It was an amazing day but very stressful,” admitted the 27-year-old afterwards.
“I didn’t get much sleep last night and wasn’t really hungry either. It was just a battle out there with Matt. Hats off to him. He gave me a hell of a fight out there and I felt like it could have gone either way. I was fortunate it was my time today.
“Up until the turn, it was pretty open. I felt like anybody from the groups ahead could have make a run. Thankfully, they didn’t and it ended up being a one-to-one battle with Matt going into the last four or five five holes. The switch was really the birdie on 14, I felt like I came back in the game and I held strong for the last four.
“Obviously there’s nothing like a win. The confidence that you get from getting it done, it’s so difficult at this level to win. Being my first year, I’m obviously delighted.”
On his debut in the event, Russell Knox (69) finished joint-15th while fellow debutants and Bob MacIntyre (70) and Calum Hill (72) ended in a share of 26th.
“A little bit of a sad finish,” said Knox of dropping a shot at the 17th then being unable to close with a birdie. “But I thought I played excellent and really enjoyed it.”
Scott Jamieson (69) finished joint-46th, with Grant Forrest (74) ending up tied for 56th.