The 38-year-old, who has won three times on the DP World Tour, loved seeing his name near the top of the giant leaderboard screen close to the ninth and 18th greens at the Sutton Coldfield venue after backing up an opening 67 with a bogey-free 69 to sit on eight-under-par.
“If you had told a 14-year-old Richie Ramsay, he would be one shot off the lead after 36 holes in the British Masters, you would grab it out of your hand,” said the Edinburgh-based Aberdonian of his promising position heading into the weekend in an event being hosted at the same venue by former Masters champion Danny Willett.
Hurly Long, a 27-year-old German, is in pole position after an afternoon 68 that contained five birdies in six holes, with 2108 winner Markus Kinhult (66) and overnight leader Thorbjorn Olesen (70) alongside Ramsay.
Olesen’s young compatriot, Rasmus Hojgaard, is lurking ominously on seven-under, with tournament host Danny Willett in a group on six-under after a best-of-the-day 65.
Before teeing off at the four-time Ryder Cup venue this week, Ramsay sat down with his long-time coach and confidant, Ian Rae, for what he said had effectively been a much-needed pep talk.
“I had a lot of things on my mind,” he admitted. “Not concerning him, he’s just a great person to chat to. He was saying to just remember what a good player I am. I know where I want to get to in the next two years, and I feel that if I can get to the end of next year, I’m going to be free to do anything I want.”
Is it a life-begins-at-40 outlook? “You just realize you don’t have all the time in the world,” added Ramsay, who, as much as though he’s still immersed in golf, has a different outlook as husband to Angela and dad to Olivia. “And, as much as golf is important, there are other things in life that are more important to me.”
Over two days in the Midlands, Ramsay has produced some of his best golf for a long time. Accurate as ever off the tee, he’s also displayed a tidy short game, as evidenced in the second circuit by a great sand save at the 18th – his ninth – and an equally-impressive up and down from short of the par-4 ninth.
“You’ve just got to be your best every day,” said the 2006 US Amateur champion. “If that’s not enough, I can walk away with my head held high. I firmly believe nine times out of ten, good things will come out of that.
“I listen to a lot of podcasts, and I listen to the High Performance Podcast, inspired by Chris Hoy or different sports people. i watched resurfacing the other night with Andy Murray and that stuff is really inspirational, especially when they are Scottish because you look up to them and you want to be on a stage that they have been on and try and sort of represent Scotland as best you can.
“I’m fortunate that I sometimes text Jamie Murray and it’s cool to watch him do well. You are just looking for stuff because I’ve played golf for 20 years and sometimes you are looking for that little spark that says to you, ‘they are doing it, they are being successful’.
“It’s not secret. It’s just about trying to be consistent every day. Putting in the hard work and do things that make you happy. Do things that are good for your soul and that’s as much off the golf course as it is on it.”
Defending champion Richard Bland missed the cut, as did Lee Westwood, the 2007 winner at the same venue, and Hojgaard’s twin brother, Nicolai.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.