Monday, August 28, 2006


PETE KOWALSKI: I'd like to welcome the 2006 U.S. Amateur champion, Richie Ramsay from Scotland, the first Scot to win the U.S. Amateur in over 100 years. Richie played steady golf at a championship level all week, and let's get your reaction to being the U.S. Amateur champion, 2006.
RICHIE RAMSAY: I just oh, I just can't believe it. It's been a long, tough season. There's been a lot of up and downs, and, oh, I just can't believe I'm here at the moment. I played according to the game plan and sometimes it didn't come off. Thomas was great on the bag. We just were going out there having a bit of fun. We played the course and I've been swinging it good all week, a bit of confidence and a lot of it is all mental out there and my mental game was first class this week. I've worked hard on it and managed it well this week.
Q. You hit 30 of 34 greens out there today, on a golf course like this, how would you rate your ball striking in terms of all the matches or the competition level you were playing this week?
RICHIE RAMSAY: You know, I'm really happy with that obviously. I model my game on consistency, and, you know, at the end of the day, if you're hitting greens, you're putting pressure and if you make a couple putts, you make some birdies.
That being said, 30 of 34, that sounds really good, but under pressure, I'm just so happy because if you miss a fairway out there, you can be struggling to hit a green. It's tough.
Me and John were out there, we played good golf today. I think maybe you see it on TV and you just think, oh, they are knocking flags out, that's easy. But it's not an easy golf course. It's tough. You have to maneuver yourself around it very well.
I think the way it set up suited me this week. You've got to hit fairways, you've got to hit greens. You start taking risks, you start taking doubles. I just played consistent and I'm just happy it paid off for me.

Q. You mentioned your mental game was first class. Do you think what happened to you the previous two days was a sign of how solid it was, or do you think it at all contributed, helped you get more mentally tough or focused?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I think before it was really good and it just toughened me up a little bit more.
You know, I have a certain way of dealing with situations, you make bogeys, a lot of the time I just talk to myself under my breath, telling myself what I should be doing, what I should be looking at. And under that pressure, to go out there and commit to a lot of golf shots and you know, put bogeys aside or bad shots aside, it's tough. But if you can do it here, you can do it anywhere because you don't get bigger than a U.S. Amateur. You don't get bigger than the final. You don't get tougher than playing a guy like John today.
You know, he deserves a lot of credit, and all of my opponents over the last couple of days, they have all been great. I think since they have been so good, I've had to be even better and that's when the mental game kicked in and helped me a lot.

PETE KOWALSKI: Richie has a couple of people he would like to thank.
RICHIE RAMSAY: About three or four years ago, there was a gentleman who I caddied for and he was from New York, and I can't remember, I know he lives on Fifth Avenue somewhere but I know it's a big street. I couldn't pinpoint exactly but it's a gentleman by the name of Dick Gilbert. And I caddied for Dick three or four years ago, and he was a great guy, we had a good laugh. He had this putter, a Scotty Cameron Futura it was, and he came off the last green. He said, "If you need anything, give me a call." And he said, "Do you like the putter" because he gave me a couple shots with it.
I said, "Yeah, it's a nice putter, I like it." I've been looking for a new one because I've had a bit of problems with my putter.
He said, "I tell what you, I'll send you one over." I said, I don't know, it's a lot of money, putters. I said if you send me one over that would be fantastic, but if not, thanks very much for the offer.
So two weeks later, a package arrives and the putter came out, and I sent him a letter for thanks. I don't know if he ever got it or not, but you know, a thanks goes to him. He's an American guy and he was very generous. He didn't have to do that. And he took time out for me, and it's the putter that I'm using this week. So you know, little things like that make a big difference.
And I think, you know, if you come over tournaments like that and you play in these kind of tournaments, I've got to thank a lot of people for it. All of these little things make a big difference to me, and you know, it's people like Dick who went out of his way and gave me a putter, and it's helped me in the last two or three years and it's helped me with a lot of performances. So you know, it's people like that that make a difference and I've got to thank him for that.

Q. Was that at Royal Aberdeen?
Q. It was just a round of golf or was it a competition?
RICHIE RAMSAY: It was just a round of golf and I was caddying for him.
Q. How much did you caddie? Did you caddie often?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I caddie quite a bit when I can, but obviously I'm playing a lot of tournaments in the summer. You know, when I can go out caddying, we've all got to make some money.
Q. Do you still?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I still do it. Everybody's got to make a living, and I'm a student, got to pay for nights' out somehow.
Q. What do you get for a loop at Aberdeen?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I think it's about 25, but I may negotiate a bit higher now. (Laughter).
Q. You talk about the putter, your lag putting I thought was exceptional today, and all week, really.
RICHIE RAMSAY: Like I said, you know, like you said, I hit 30 out of 34 greens; you've just got to roll the ball up. I had a lot of good putts today that didn't go in, just on edge, especially the last few in the first round, the edge.
But if you're just rolling up there, you take the pressure off yourself. He knows that you're going to roll it up. You hit three or four putts dead, the guy is thinking, "he's going to knock it dead, I have to hole this." If you can inflect as much pressure as possible on your opponent, then sooner or later that's going to tell. So I just played my game plan and it paid off for me. And obviously putting is a big part of that and the greens out there were fantastic.
Obviously a bit tricky, you saw that on 17 this morning. You know, quality greens, and I've been working on the pace a lot this week, because you're not going to hit that many shots close out there. There's not that amount of birdie opportunities when you stand on the first tee. You're thinking to yourself, you know there's only a few. So if you're hitting in 20 feet, you've just got to roll it down every time and make par. If someone makes birdie, fine, he hits a good shot; just accept it, don't worry about it. But you never ever hit on the green and 3 putt and give a hole away. That's what you don't do. Don't give holes away easily. You just fight to the death.
I really determined on what I would do. I set my goals high and I'm determined to make them. I just did that today.

Q. What was Thomas's fee for the week?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I don't know, I said I would give him some money for the week, but I wasn't too bothered about it. I think I've got to give him something for doing so well. I mean, he didn't what he did out there, he didn't really do anything, but that was the benefit to me, because he didn't do anything to put me off my stride. You know, if I needed him, he was there. He just did all the little things, cleaned the clubs and any kind of assistance I needed, he did all that. If I asked him apart from that, he didn't do anything, which is what, you don't want to be interfered with. You want to stroll down the fairway. If I want to chat, I'll say something to him and he'll say something to me. And if I want something, I'll tell him. If he wants something, he'll tell me. We have a good relationship and I get on well with him, which is a foundation for I think a lot of good teamwork out there.
Q. You didn't do anything but
RICHIE RAMSAY: When I say "he didn't do anything," you know, he helped me out a lot by not doing anything to put me off. He just stayed calm. You know, when I hit a bad shot, he just said a couple of words. He didn't say, oh, why did you hit it right in the trees. (Laughter) He just said: "Don't worry about it. You're playing good. You'll knock it on the green, that's fine." And you just think, "I will knock it on the green." Or if you miss a green, like today I missed it on 7, I hit in the bunker and he just turns around to me and he goes: "You got up and down easy the other day. Bunker play is yours." Little things like that gives you a little bit of confidence.
Q. Has he mentioned the words "Masters tickets" yet?
RICHIE RAMSAY: No, but my dad sent me a text last night saying there was a barrage of calls and looking for some, but I think I need to position myself beside a bar and wait for the offers to flood in.
Q. What about somebody to caddie for, three majors next year, will you ask Thomas to come to Augusta or Oakmont?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I don't know about that at the moment. You know, I'm sure I'll sort it out and I'm sure hopefully he can come down, but I couldn't say as far as that goes. I've got a couple of guys back home to help me on the bag, and you know, I'll be going out in these majors to enjoy it and love it.
But at the end of the day, I'm out there to do a job like this week. I'm out there for performance and without, you know, being disrespectful to anybody else, I need the best man on the bag that I think will help me the most. And if it is Thomas, it is Thomas. But if not, it will be someone else. But I'm sure I'll sort it out.

Q. What's your take on the lack of success on of Scottish golfers on the world stage in the last couple of decades?
RICHIE RAMSAY: You know, I think you've got to realize that Scotland's not a massive country. I think just at the moment they are starting to have high level amateurs move into the pro ranks and there's better support for them. That's been the problem with Steven O'Hara and Marc Warren. I think they have done fantastically well. You know, it's not an easy life. You've got to perform week in, week out and there's a lot of other things going on in a young person's life apart from golf that you've got to deal with.
But you know, I think it will come good in the end. We've got a lot of good players, a lot of young, good players that are fantastic. People like Lloyd Simpson (ph), Scott Jamison, George McRae (ph), these guys play week in and week out and they are fantastic golfers. They can do the business if someone gives them a chance, that's what they need.
If someone gives them a chance, gives them a bit of support, a bit of help, take a bit of pressure off them, you don't have to worry about sorting flights out or whatever, just go out there and play golf. I think that's what the Scottish Golf Union has been good at the last few years. They take care of everything, they just say go out there, play golf, do your best.
In the last few years, the amateur results have done well in the national in the last few years, and a few players have won big championships. And I'm sure in the next four or five years, the names that I mentioned will become household and the guys who are doing well hike Steven O'Hara and Marc Warren will push on. But you still have guys like Paul Lawrie. I played with Paul; he's a fantastic player. I don't think sometimes he maybe gets the credit that he deserves for the Open.
But these guys will come on, and no doubt Scottish golf will push forward in five or ten years.

Q. You're not including yourself in that list.
RICHIE RAMSAY: Well, being someone who does marketing, it's easy to turn around and say I'm a great golfer, I'm brilliant, sign me, give me this, give me that, but like I said before, if I go out there and win title, and I go out and shoot good scores, you can't argue with that. You know, it's easy for someone to turn around and say, oh, no, I'm a brilliant golfer, I'm great, because I hear it a lot from the guys I caddie for.
But unless you go out there and shoot scores, and you get titles, that's what will talk. And if you're serious about moving on to the next three or four years, winning titles is important to me, because for me to go out there, success is everything, and obviously outside that, it benefits guys coming in and trying to help me out with regards my career.

Q. How big do you think this victory will go over in Scotland just as far as the Golf Union and the country itself, and when you get back home and get with your mates, how long do you think the victory celebration is going to last?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I think it will have a big impact on Scottish golf. You know, I'm just a guy from Aberdeen who I love playing golf, I work hard at it and it shows what someone can do when they put their mind to something and it's paid for for me this week.
You know, anything I can do to benefit Scottish golf is just repaying a debt that I owe them for all the help they have put in over the last four or five years. Because the things like now that you see on, you know, it's brilliant, but what everybody doesn't see behind the scenes, the hard work, the winter hours that you put in in the gym and the support you get from the Scottish Golf Union with regards to nutrition, strength and conditioning, you know, lottery funding, things like that, those are massive for me.
And for that to be taken out of my hands and for them to turn around to me and say, we've got that all sorted for you, don't worry about it, just get on with your golf, I think that if I can repay them with wins like this, and you know, just say a big thanks to them, that's all I can do, really.
And if some kid in Scotland sees me winning this and turns around and think, you know, I'll have a crack at golf, that's another person playing golf, another kid going out there, enjoying themselves. It's just a lot of people have fun playing golf and there's no reason why anybody else can't do this just like I did.

Q. And the victory celebration with your mates when you get back home?
RICHIE RAMSAY: It will last quite a while I think. I got a text message from a couple of guys last night and got a few phone calls, so I think they are already slightly celebrating. (Laughter) By the sounds of their voices and cheering, I think they are down at the local pub having a few drinks. And all of my buddies at Stirling, I'm sure they are having a few pints, and I'll see them when I get back in a few weeks' time.
Q. You mentioned an instructor out there on the 16th hole, I believe from the Scottish Golf Union, can you talk more about his influence and what he's done with you to help awe long the way here?
RICHIE RAMSAY: He's a gentleman by the name of Ian Rae. About four or five years ago, I went to junior college in Waco; it wasn't for me. And I came back and a lot of things I had to learn and develop. You know, it's going to take time. Ian was great for me. He sat down and he said: Look, I'll spend a bit of time with you, I'll work for you, it's not a problem. I managed to play all right when I got back to the national squads, and he was there coaching for the last few years. And over the last two or three years, my swing has really started to come together.
So you know, all of the shots out there, that was a combination of a lot of hard work by myself, but a lot of his expertise putting in the hours and coming up and seeing me in Stirling which is not far away from his house.
Also, he talked to me about how we maneuver ourselves around the golf course, mental game, know, what you should be doing on the golf course, things that I can do to benefit myself, even when I'm not hitting a shot, and just little things like that. You know, he's always there and he's the guy that if something goes wrong, he gets the brunt of it.
You know, he gets the kind of, oh, you know, why am I hitting it this way, why am I hitting it that way, I'm hitting it out of bounds. He just sits me down and say, look at it, see what's wrong, work on a couple things. You know he's helped me out massively, so a lot of credit goes to him.

Q. When you arrived here eight, nine, ten days ago, did you seen stop to think at that point that the 2007 open was at Carnoustie?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I didn't even know it was at Carnoustie to be honest.
I just went out and practiced and we had a game with the Walker Cup boys which was good, a chat is always good with those guys, a great laugh. Did practice rounds as normal, get the preparation in, work out how to position yourself around the golf course.
But I didn't have any thoughts of that because, you know, you can dream you can win it, but at the end of the day, you've got to hit shot by shot and I was just concentrating on each shot one at a time. And I think that showed a lot today with the consistency of my play, because I was focused 100% on each shot, committed 100% on each shot and it paid for for me.

Q. Speaking of the Walker Cup guys, we talked earlier in the week, you were mentioning how tough it is to get on the Walker Cup team and how difficult that selection is. I would think winning this championship this week would put you on a pretty good line to play in 2007?
RICHIE RAMSAY: It puts me in a good position, but I'm one of these people that you know, I don't take anything for granted. There's some fantastic players in GB&I and I put myself in good position, but there's another there's another 12 months to the Walker Cup and a lot can happen in that time. I've still got to play really well. I've got to impress the selectors, and I go out there with the intention of pushing myself in their minds, not whether I'll get in or whether I'm a maybe. I want to be one of the first names on that team sheet through good golf so they turnaround and say, look what he's done this year, he was first, he was second, he was Top 10 here, there, everywhere, he's not Top 10 that we should pick; yes, he is straight in there. That's all I can do.
Obviously performances like this put me right in the limelight. I think the fact that there's a lot of pressure out there, that helps me because in the Walker Cup, you know, everybody is lining the fairways. You're playing for your club, you're playing for your country, you're playing for your university, you're representing a lot of people. To go out there and play that is massive for me. I still dream of playing Walker Cup again. It's the best time I've ever had on a golf course. Maybe this is right up there with it. But you know, I would love to play another one. But I still think I've got to force myself back into the team.

Q. What did you think when he holed that 60 footer on 10, it seemed like that might have been a point if he was ever going to grab any momentum, that might have been it, but you were able to still holed onto it.
RICHIE RAMSAY: He holed that putt and it was traveling a bit of pace. But people are going to do that against you. All I'm thinking is I've got a 15 footer. If I go in here, he's right up top. You know, his adrenaline is pumping. If this goes in, I'm going to drag him right back down. Unfortunately I missed it. But you know, he made birdie; I'm 2 up in the U.S. Amateur final and I have eight holes to go. I've been hitting the ball great, I'm hitting every green, I'm owed some putts. If those putts drop, I'm right in there with a chance. They didn't drop, but they didn't drop for him either. So it worked out fine in the end.
Q. Are you surprised it's been so many years since a Scottish player won this tournament?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I think so. But it's hard, like I said the other day, it's hard for us to vindicate coming over here and playing in sectional qualifiers. That's not to say there's no disrespect to the U.S. Amateur or the USGA. But you know, the reality of it is it's expensive to come over here. We have tournaments on at the moment. We have the European Individual on at the moment and a few of my buddies are out there playing in it and doing well, and that would be fantastic if one of them could come out with a win.
We sat there and spoke to Coach and said basely we've got this exemption because and we would love to use it again. Last year the golf course was fantastic, can't ask for anything better. It's been the same this week, and it's a thanks to the USGA that they give that you exemption, which as well broadens your horizons, you come out and meet a lot of new people, play in a fantastic arena on a great golf course. This week it's been brilliant for me.

Q. When did you make that decision to come over and play in this or when did the whole group?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I think I was one of the ones along with a guy called Robert Dunwoody from Tennessee or East Tennessee. I knew I had the exemption and I just had to speak to my coach and said, you know, is it possible to get some money to come over here. We sat down and he said, what do you think, do you want to play in the European Individual, do you want to play in the U.S. Amateur. I basically said to him, what an experience we had last year. I knew that the golf courses, the way they set them up, were good for my game because you've got to hit fairways it's a U.S. Open type setup. Although the galleries trample down some of the rough, you've still got to hit it straight out there. And I felt if I came over here, I was in with a good chance.
So we just sat down about two or three months ago and we were looking at schedule and I said to them, you know, is it okay if I use the exemption. He's like, yeah, that's fine. I'll sort some funding out for and you we'll get you over there.
Then as a consequence, we all talked together and we just thought, you know, if we go out as five of us, go out at a team, it would make it even better and it was fantastic.

Q. Who specifically were you speaking with about the funding?
RICHIE RAMSAY: It was Ian Rae. He is my coach, and he controls the pursestrings, maybe if you put it that way.
Q. What do your parents do for a living and how would you describe the family's financial situation back home; middle class?
RICHIE RAMSAY: My dad is a university lecturer, and my mom, she does some housekeeping for some friends of hours, looks after their children. You know, just sort of middle class. You know, there's no kind of I wouldn't say I have a lot of money, but I wouldn't say I've ever wanted for anything in my life. My mom and dad have always been really good to me with regards to helping me in my education. My dad, being a lecturer, he knows the importance of getting a good education and he's helped me out with things like accommodations and stuff for the last few years. I can't thank him enough for that.
And my brother is about 27, he's a doctor. You know, if I ever need someone to rely upon, he's there for questions. And obviously doctors are getting right salary, so get good Christmas presents. (Laughter) So, you know, I've never wanted for anything really, but I wouldn't say I'm well off.

Q. Why did you get rid of your original caddie here after two days of stroke play, and looking back do you think what influence, if any, did the decision have on what happened this week?
RICHIE RAMSAY: You know, I had a guy on the bag and he was all right. He didn't do anything wrong. There was nothing against the guy at all. I saw him before and I signed some things before him.
Nighttime we're sitting in the house and I got along fine with Thomas. I thought, he was a wee bit older and so when you're walking down the fairways, you can have a bit of a chat to him about a few things. Like we did the other day, I'll speak to him later about that, a few things that are maybe a bit for older people to speak about. I just got along with him well. Just thought put him on the bag, we'll have a good love, I'll concentrate on my shots and he was perfect this week.

Q. Why did you wear that hat this week (TaylorMade hat)?
RICHIE RAMSAY: I do marketing and sports studies. (Laughter) got to market myself. TaylorMade have been good to me over last couple of years, a guy called Paul McDonald was good to me, he was at the Scottish Open this year. For him to do little things like that, like I said before, the guy, Dick Gilbert, he gave me a putter. I appreciate things like that, because they don't have to. They have helped me out with clubs over the past couple of years and they have sponsored the Scottish team, as well.
So you know, I think it's just right that I should maybe wear a hat that hopefully gives them a bit of exposure. You know, I'm in the game to market myself, as well, so anything that can do to do that, hopefully will benefit me in the future.

Q. Your father is a lecturer, and what's the field?
RICHIE RAMSAY: He lectures architecture.
Q. At Stirling?
RICHIE RAMSAY: Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen.
Q. And when did you actually get over here for this tournament?
RICHIE RAMSAY: We flew out on the day that the whole fracas kicked off about the bombing alerts. And we had a torrid time getting over here. We were standing in Gatwick airport for a good hour and a half, two hours in the same spot trying to get in the queue. And then when we finally got on the plane, it took three hours to take off because we weren't sure if we were getting permission from the U.S. government to fly from London. And I'm really happy that they gave permission because I wouldn't be sitting here otherwise probably.
So, you know, it all worked out. We played the Scratch Players last week at Somerby, and that was good experience and that helped me this week.