Ramsay Fears The Worst After Flooring British Masters Spectator

Hillside …

Richie Ramsay feared the worst when he floored a spectator with an errant drive during the opening round of the Betfred British Masters at Hillside.

The Scot, who ended his round with a super six-under par 66 to be just three from the lead, hit the middle-aged male spectator just above his right eye with his drive down the left side of the fourth fairway in wet and very cold conditions all day on the long-time Open Championship Final Qualifying venueGOL

Ramsay, who was playing the hole as his 13th and lying six-under at the time, arrived to see the spectator will blood pouring from his wound.

It was around some 20-minutes between Ramsay hitting the spectator and being given the assurance the spectator was in good hands before Ramsay returned to play his second shot and record a par.

Scotland’s Richie Ramsay speaks about his fear after seeing spectator with blood pouring from a head injury. (Photo @tourmiss)

“It was a bit shocking and though you can’t do too much about it, you do feel responsible given it was me who hit the shot,” he said.

“I was upset at the time and I was thinking ‘Geez, I hope he’s going to be alright’ and with the medical staff arriving with a stretcher but after they attended to him and he then stood up, and also started smiling, I felt a lot better.

“I’ve never hit a spectator before and especially not on the head while I’ve been hit myself on the leg.”

Ramsay made a point after his round in visiting the on-site medical centre to be advised the spectator was fine and that the injury did not require hospitalisation nor any stitches to the wound.

And the Edinburgh-golfer was complimented by the medical team on his thoughtfulness.

Ramsay had earlier commenced his round birdie, eagle and birdie to race to four-under par after just three holes.   He dropped the only shot of his round at his seventh but got the shot back with a birdie at the next.

The triple Tour winner then grabbed back-to-back birdies on his 10th and 11th holes to reach six-under and after the incident at the fourth hole on the card, Ramsay seven closing pars.

It was the current World No. 403s second straight score of 66 after a final day 66 in last week’s Volvo China Open and with both 66s his lowest scores in 31 rounds this 2018/19 wraparound season.

“It was a great start and after the incident with the spectator, I played steady enough and gave myself some chances and then lipped-out on the last which would have been a great birdie to finish,” added Ramsay.

“Overall, I just did the things well you have to do and took my opportunities when they were presented to me.”

And helping Ramsay was a decision also to practice on his putting in a room he has set aside in his house, using the putter he won the 2012 European Masters and the second win of his pro career, and as evident in posting just 26 putts.

He said:  “I had 10 putters at home and had them made to the same specs as the putter I also have to win in Switzerland in 2012 and had them all tested, and basically the replica of the putter I won in 2012 worked out the best.

“Ever since, I have been rolling the ball so much better and that’s the one I used today.

“Then you suddenly get your eye in and it’s a whole lot better”.

England’s Matthew Jordan set a new Hillside course record and posting just 23 putts in a bogey-free nine-under par 63.

Jordan, 23 is attached to the Royal Liverpool club and there’s no guessing his favourite football team.

“Yeah, I didn’t expect to win the way they did the other night.  I just watched it, and again, and that takes your mind off golf,” he said.

“Everyone is talking about the game instead of the golf”.

Oban lefty Bob MacIntyre, and out in the penultimate group of the day, shot a 68 to be two behind Ramsay.

Scott Jamieson was the next-best Scot and just outside the top-20 in posting a three-under par 69 and teeing-up at Hillside for a first time since 2000 when he contested the British Boys Championship.

Though Jamieson was none too pleased with his opening hole effort.

“It was irritating to bogey the first but I then made back-to-back birdies so that settled me down,” said Jamieson.

“The strength to my game today was my iron-play as I didn’t drive the ball all that well, and the good thing that given it is early in the season the rough it not up.”

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