Richie Ramsay is delighted to be teeing it up on home soil once again as the European Tour returns to Scotland for its second of three events on the 2021 Race to Dubai at this week’s Hero Open at Fairmont St Andrews.
The 38-year-old recorded his best result at the Scottish Open in five years last month, finishing in a share of 15th, and hopes to carry that momentum into this week’s event in the historic town of St Andrews.
Ramsay is one of 17 Scotsmen in the field, joined by the likes of 2014 Ryder Cup player and winner of the 2019 Hero Indian Open Stephen Gallacher and fellow European Tour winners Scott Jamieson, David Law and Marc Warren.
The next generation of Scottish stars are also well represented this week in Fife, with Grant Forrest, Calum Hill, Liam Johnston and Connor Syme among those going in search of maiden victories on the European Tour
Returning to the site of his Scottish Championship presented by AXA victory last year is Spaniard Adrian Otaegui, who carded rounds of 62-70-70-63 to win his first strokeplay title on the European Tour by a margin of four shots.
Richie Ramsay: “I’m really happy with how I’ve been playing. The start of the season was a bit slow, but I showed a lot of patience and perseverance. It was easy to get frustrated with the form at the start, but I took the view that I need to be the best I can be every day and just try and stick with that and enjoy that process.
“I’ve reaped the rewards of that in playing well at the Irish and Scottish. A steady week in Wales. I just need to watch the expectations don’t get too high and I stay in that nice, patient process where I’m positive. The three Ps. Try and get into the mix on Sunday and put myself there or thereabouts and have a shot to win.”
David Law: “I’m feeling good. I’m excited. It’s always nice to play in Scotland. It was the first time we came to this golf course last year and I really enjoyed it. The weather is a little different to what it was last October, hopefully it’ll continue like this.
“You need to putt well. There’s plenty of chances out there if you give yourself the opportunity. It’s more of a second shot golf course, iron play needs to be good. There’s a couple of tough tee shots, but it’s not overly demanding off the tee, it suits the guys who are good iron players and good putters.”
Connor Syme: “I’ve been up here quite a few times and had a few looks at the course over the course of the year. My friend Jordan is a member up here as well, we’ve managed to come up for a few knocks which is nice. It’s always nice to play at home and I’m in my own bed.
“The scoring was really low last year, I thought it would be 16 or 17 under but Adrian ended up shooting 23 under which is an amazing score. I don’t think it’s quite as firm and the rough isn’t quite as thick as last year, but it still has the same challenges around the greens. It’s very much off the tee, as the case is with most links courses, just getting in play off the tee and you’ll have some chances. The course is setting up well.”
Adrian Otaegui: “I have really good memories and feelings. With this weather it’s a dream to be back and very nice to get the feeling back from playing the course, walking the holes again. Awesome views today with this good weather. I’m very happy to be back here at the Fairmont.
“It was very satisfying, the way the whole week went, the way I managed it. A very, very good first round. The second and third rounds were very important, they were only two under rounds, but that was key. I didn’t play my best, as good as Thursday and Sunday, but I still managed to shoot under par, keep up there on the leaderboard and a very good final day gave me the win. I was very pleased with the way I played and the way I managed the week.”