Richie Ramsay wins in Morocco as Kevin Phelan finishes in tie for third
Scottish golfer recovers from triple-bogey to claim third European Tour title
Richie Ramsay of Scotland poses with the trophy after winning the Trophee Hassan II Golf at Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir, Morocco. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Ireland’s Kevin Phelan secured his second top-five finish in the space of a month at the Trophee Hassan in Morocco as Scotland’s Richie Ramsay recovered from seeing a three-shot lead disappear in the space of two holes to win the after a rollercoaster final round on Sunday.
Phelan shot a fourth-straight 70 to finish in a six-way tie for third place on eight under and claim a cheque for €61,250 to move up to 43rd in the Race to Dubai standings.
In what was a packed leaderboard, Ramsay made a blistering start at Golf du Palais Royal, carding four birdies in a row from the third to move into pole position in pursuit of his third European Tour title.
The 31-year-old from Aberdeen then three-putted the seventh and ran up a triple-bogey six on the eighth, where he came up short of the green off the tee and saw his first two chips fail to negotiate a steep slope and roll back to his feet.
That left Ramsay two shots off the lead but he battled back superbly with a hat-trick of birdies from the 12th to reclaim the lead on his way to a closing 69 to finish 10 under par, one ahead of France’s Romain Wattel.
Wattel chipped in for par on the 15th after duffing his fourth shot just a few feet and birdied the 17th to get within one of Ramsay, but was unable to chip in for another birdie on the 18th to force a play-off.
Among the other five players to share third spot with Phelan was South African George Coetzee, who had needed to win to move into the world’s top 50 and qualify for the Masters.
An emotional Ramsay, who had missed the cut in four of his five events this season and withdrew from the other after three rounds due to illness, dedicated the win to his wife Angela and brother Robin.
“It means a huge amount,” Ramsay said. “My brother has supported me since I was so young. This one’s for him and Angela. I know they are all back home and probably going crazy at the moment.
“I’ve gone through some tough times with injury but kept believing and they were at my back and said just go out there and play golf and that’s what I did today. It was so much fun out there.”
Asked about his triple bogey on the eighth, the former US amateur champion added: “I just didn’t execute the shot exactly as I wanted to. Hit a poor chip, rolled back into a divot, didn’t come out, hit it back on, two putts, easy six. It’s one of those courses that has so many holes like that.
“I knew I was still in the mix and walking down nine I was still level par for my round and I knew the back nine was very scoreable. I made great putts on nine and 10 just to keep the momentum going and then I stood over a putt on the 12th and felt my putter feels absolutely great.
“I said to myself just got for it, this is your time and pretty much took it by the scruff of the neck the next two holes.”
Former champion Michael Hoey closed with a five-under 67 to finish the week on two under.