Aberdeen’s Richie Ramsay paid tribute to his coach Ian Rae after he surged into contention on the opening day of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth.
The 40-year-old went into the Rolex Series event on the back of a missed cut at the Omega European Masters – an event where he is a former winner – and a tied 61st finish at the Irish Open.
A birdie-birdie finish helped Ramsay to a six-under 66 which saw him finish tied second alongside Matt Fitzpatrick and two adrift of first round leader Marcus Helligkilde.
Ramsay said: “A lot of the credit has got to go to Ian Rae because I was in not a great place a few weeks ago.
“We were in a discussion about where I was, what I was doing with my swing.
“I was kind of a little bit lost in Switzerland and it was actually good I missed the cut.
“It gave me a weekend to figure things out, and that’s definitely shown from today’s performance.”
— Richie Ramsay (@RamsayGolf) September 14, 2023
Ramsay, a four-time winner on the DP World Tour, added: “I’ve got a lot of experience and can call upon that.
“You don’t quite go to panic stations but it does play in your mind.
“You do wake up sometimes in the middle of the night thinking about where I am at the top of my backswing.
“Ian has always been right there to help me and support me and is someone who I trust.
“And then I’ve tried to couple that with trying to be consistent every day so the viewpoint is that things won’t change dramatically day-to-day.
“If I can do something day-to-day over the course of a number of weeks or months or whatever I will get to the place I want it to be.
“I find that quite good because it gives you a little bit of a purpose and direction.
“Every day you know what you need to do and hopefully if you can smash that over time, you can see the difference and this is a nice little opening.”
A high-quality field has assembled at Wentworth for the DP World Tour’s flagship event, including all 12 members of the European Ryder Cup ahead of this month’s showdown with the United States in Rome.
Even the experienced Ramsay admits he still feels the nerves competing in the big events.
He added: “I love it but there’s no doubt I get nervous.
“I’ve learned over a number of years to take the viewpoint that when you get butterflies it is quite cool.
“This is what you want and I love like the pressure and even just standing on the first tee.
“It’s got all the ingredients – the course plays the way it does, we’ve got sunshine and we are at a fantastic place with a great field. There’s nothing much more you can ask for.”
Fellow Scot Connor Syme sits only one shot back in tied fifth after an opening 67 with Callum Hill tied 12th on four under.
Stephen Gallacher was one of 10 players who opened with a three under-par 69, while David Law is one under after a round of 71.
Oban’s Robert MacIntyre bogeyed the last after finding the water on his way to a level-par 72.