CARBON European Tour ambassador Richie Ramsay is in Hamburg for the Porsche European Open but we caught up with him to reflect on his impressive 22nd place finish at the 146th Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which helped the top Scot to 20th place in the “Race to Dubai” standings. US star Jordan Spieth captured his third Major in extraordinary circumstances but Richie reveals he was en route to the airport as the drama in the dunes was unfolding!
“I didn’t bring my best game on Sunday but overall I have to be happy with the way things went at Birkdale. It was a pretty crazy experience, a great few days. I so wanted to hole that put for a par on the 18th on Sunday to top it off.
“It’s not a bad reflection of my skills in terms of battling it out. Conditions weren’t easy later in the day and it’s my best ever finish at The Open and it could have been even better. It wasn’t all guns blazing stuff and I know there is still scope to get even better on the big stage.
“I felt quite drained earlier this week, mentally rather than physically. I don’t know how Jordan and Rory and these guys manage to handle all the demands on them. The media are all over them. It must be tough to get your work done with so much going on around you.
“I didn’t see Jordan’s finish because I was rushing for a flight to Germany. But I caught up with it on the highlights with a few of the guys over here. It really was incredible stuff. At 13 he was on the driving range trying to work out where the green was and guess at the yardage. His head must have been in a spin knowing this was The Open on the line.
“When I won in Morocco I remember a six on a par 3 which was a rollercoaster and managed to bounce back with a string of birdies. But to do that in a Major after such a destructive tee shot into the dunes and manage to recover the way he did shows incredible mental toughness, will and belief.
“It was great entertainment for viewers. I have never seen such a quick turnaround in fortunes. He came out of 13 thinking a bogey five was an incredible escape. What a lesson in terms of resilience and how to handle pressure in any walk of life.
“His caddie Michael also had a huge part to play. In tennis and athletics you don’t have anyone beside you but in golf the caddie can have a massive role. They know the right thing to say at the right time. They know their player and whether he needs a quiet word or tough love after a bad run. Michael had a profound impact and Jordan noted that when he talked of ‘we’ in his victory speech.
“But ultimately his putter won that tournament, under the most severe pressure, and how many times have we said that about Jordan? It is going to be like that in future as he chases down more Majors.
“I felt for Matt Kuchar, who came so close to his first Major. I played with him in the first two rounds and also at the Scottish Open. He is such a lovely guy. He is a superstar but he doesn’t know it. That is just so refreshing. Matt is an incredibly skilled player. He’s not as flashy or eloquent as say a McIlroy swing but he hits so many darts with his mid to short irons, with a lovely touch on and around the greens.
“My eagle from the bunker at 17 in the final round was a nice moment and the crowd roars over the four days were incredible in the natural amphitheatres. I also had a couple of chip shots which were the result of the hard work I have been putting in.
“Going into the tournament I wanted to embrace it and become a better player from the experience. I have been working towards this sort of goal since I was 16.
“So the most pleasing thing was that I felt comfortable in that company, I wasn’t overawed. I felt like I belonged.
“I will have a short break after this weekend before going again. My mindset is good and a win has to be the aim now.”