There have been instances of PGA Tour stars leaving golf courses before the leaders finish because they know they have no chance of making a playoff. Vijay Singh has done it. Tiger Woods is in the club. And so far, none of that has ever come back to bite someone in the rear.
Until now. Richie Ramsay, the 27-year-old professional out of Scotland, was playing his U.S. Open qualifier at Walton Heath in Surrey, England, and after rounds of 71-69, he figured he had no shot of making it in the top 11 that was needed to get a spot at Congressional.
So Ramsay left, headed to Heathrow Airport to catch a flight to Belfast for a wedding only to get a call to tell him that 4-under was in a playoff, and he needed to get back to Walton Heath immediately. That was bad news for Ramsay, who was so far away he was driving when it was pitch dark, missing out on being in a three-man playoff for a spot to get into the U.S. Open, and the Scot isn't so happy about it, according to the Herald Scotland.
"I feel suicidal," he said. "I got a call from Stevie to say four under was in and to get back here. To miss out on the chance to play the US Open makes me feel sick.
"I've been to Heathrow, missed my flight because of the traffic, come back, and I'll probably get a couple of speeding tickets, only to be told I've missed out. Even when I was driving back it was pitch black but the play-off goes ahead. But I've only got myself to blame. It's my own fault as I should have played better, and if it wasn't for my putting today, I might be heading to the US Open."
It's good to see Ramsay blaming himself, because really, why would you ever leave something like that if you felt there was a snowball's chance at a playoff? I've finished qualifiers and seen guys waiting a shot away from missing out with half the field still on the golf course, just because they'd never want to be that guy kicking himself for being careless.
One thing's for sure -- I bet Ramsay took full advantage of the open bar at his friend's wedding if he would have made that flight and the reception.
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- Richie Ramsay