Ramsay claims European Masters
Mon, 03 Sep 2012 5:37a.m.
By Graham Dunbar
Richie Ramsay of Scotland captured the biggest title of his professional career, shooting a 5-under 66 to win the European Masters by 4 strokes.
The overnight leader was never headed in the final round to finish on 16-under 267. Four players tied for second.
Ramsay earned ¤350,000 ($440,000) prize money for his second European Tour victory, following the South African Open title in 2009.
"It's just incredible, the whole day went to plan," says Ramsay, adding that the victory would move his career "up a notch. It definitely pushes me to another level."
The 29-year-old Scot, who won the 2006 United States Amateur Championship, is set to move up the world rankings from No. 110 into the top 70.
"It's a bigger win than the U.S. Amateur," said Ramsay, who is based in Atlanta. "If you look at the field and the place and the way that I did it."
Ramsay has never led a tour event after 54 holes, and countryman Paul Lawrie was favoured Sunday as he sought back-to-back victories after winning the Johnnie Walker Championship.
Lawrie shot 70 for a share of sixth place in his last tournament before joining Europe's team for the Ryder Cup from Sept. 28-30 at Medinah, Illinois.
Second place was shared by Fredrik Andersson Hed of Sweden, Marcus Fraser of Australia, France's Romain Wattel and Danny Willett of England, who played in the final threesome with Ramsay and Lawrie.
After three days of rain, fog and low temperatures in the Swiss Alps, Ramsay finally played in bright sunshine on the Seve Ballesteros-designed course circled by snow-capped mountains.
Ramsay began his round with a one-stroke lead and was quickly joined at 12 under by Lawrie, the 1999 British Open champion who made eagle as the younger Scot made birdie.
Despite missing birdie chances at Nos. 5 and 6, Ramsay completed the outward nine holes in 31. He led by three at the turn from Willett, as Lawrie was let down by his driving off the tee.
Ramsay's stretched his lead to five as both playing partners dropped shots at Nos. 10 and 11, then dropped his first shot since Friday afternoon at the par-3 13th.
He effectively sealed the title by holing his approach shot - a wedge from 130 yards (119 meters) - for eagle at the par-5 14th.
"I just put my foot on the gas and that gave me some breathing space," Ramsay says.
Mathias Gronberg hit a hole-in-one at No. 3, sinking his 7-iron from 191 yards (175 meters). The Swede went round in 71 to finish on 8 under, eight shots behind Ramsay.
Watch the video for Ramsay's reaction to the win
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