Saturday, August 26, 2006


Aberdonian Richie Ramsay has won his way through to Sunday's 36-hole final of the United States men's amateur golf championship.
He finished one up in his semi-final against Webb Simpson from Raleigh, North Carolina  over the tough Hazeltine National course at Chaska, Minnesota, where Tony Jacklin won the United States Open in 1970.
Ramsay, a 23-year-old Stirling University student and a Walker Cup player for GB&I in Chicago last summer, was roughly level par for the 18 holes.
The Scot won the first hole with a par 4. The next two holes were halved in pars.
Ramsay went two up with a birde 2 at the short fourth.
The fifth hole was halved in par 4s.
Simpson bogeyed the sixth to Ramsay's par 4, putting the Scot three holes up.
The American got one back with a birdie 4 at the long seventh - three of the four par-5 holes on Hazeltine National are over 600 yards - and a half in par 3s at the eighth left Ramsay two up coming up to the turn.
The Scot appeared to take a stranglehold on a place in the final when he went three up with a birdie 4 at the 606yd 11th but his opponent then started a comeback.
Ramsay bogeyed the 12th to be only two up and then Simpson birdied the 14th to be only one down.
Richie rallied to regain a two-hole lead with a fine birdie 4 at the 642yd 15th.
But the drama continued as Simpson cut his deficit to one again at the 16th which Ramsay had to concede.
One up with two to play, Richie, a member at Royal Aberdeen, showed he was made of the right stuff by halving the short 17th and the long home hole.
In the final Ramsay will play 21-year-old John Kelly from St Louis, Missouri. Kelly did not lead until the 10th against Ryan Yip but went on to beat the Canadian by 2 and 1 with two-under-par figures.
The last Scot to win the US amateur title was Findlay Douglas from St Andrews in 1898.
Tiger Woods won it three years in a row in the 1990s.
The winner of the championship gets to play in next year's US Masters - if he is still an amateur.