CARBON European Tour ambassador Richie Ramsay dug deep and tapped into every ounce of his experience to sign off the regular season on a high in Spain.
With the all-important Tour card on the line, the Edinburgh-based professional clawed his way up the Race to Dubai rankings with an impressive display at the weather interrupted, three round Andalucia Valderrama Masters.
While Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia clocked-up another title on home turf, Richie held his nerve to secure his playing rights for an 11th successive season.
After enjoying his most successful year and a top 30 ranking in 2017, the 35-year-old, three time Tour winner admitted he had been under the most intense pressure of his career in recent weeks.
But it was job done in the hills around Sotogrande after climbing 10 rungs on the Tour ladder to claim 115th spot on the all-important money list.
A timely closing three under par 68 saw Richie tied for 11th place on the Costa del Sol, to post his highest finish since January and avoid the lottery of attending Qualifying School.
“I think I came out and proved a lot to myself, arguably under the most pressure I’ve ever felt coming down the stretch,” Richie told the media.
“I had some good looks at some great putts on 16 and 17 and then I rolled in a nice little tester at the end from about three feet.
“A three footer under normal circumstances is very easy but not when your job is on the line. I’m just proud of the way I played.”
In previous Carbon blogs, Richie has credited the arrival of daughter Olivia with a change in his outlook and priorities.
A Facetime chat with her helped calm the pre-round nerves.
“As long as she is happy and healthy, dad can go out and play golf,” he explained.
“When you speak to her it makes you a bit more buoyant about things when the golf can get you down a little bit.
“I just try to take that on to the golf course and fortunately it kind of worked for me.”
Carbon managing director Gordon Wilson was quick to offer his congratulations.
“Everyone at Carbon is thrilled for Richie.
“He was under intense pressure going into Valderrama but it is one of his favourite courses and suits his game.
“He finished third there behind Sergio and Miguel Angel Jimenez back in 2011. It might even top his all-time list now after securing his Tour card!
“It was nerve-wracking for us trying to keep tabs on how he was doing and how he was placed in the all-important Race to Dubai. The table seemed to be changing every few seconds.
“So goodness knows how Richie managed to remain focused and get the job done.
“But we enjoy a close relationship with Richie and his professionalism has never been in doubt.
“Even when there was work to be done to retain his card he could not have been more supportive of youngsters attending a junior coaching clinic at Blairgowrie Golf Club, where Carbon are corporate partners.”
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