Richie Ramsay arrives too late for US Open play-off

Richie Ramsay
Ramsay had assumed the play-off would take place the following morning

Richie Ramsay looks to have missed out on joining fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher in the 2011 US Open after turning up too late for a play-off.

Gallacher made it with a stroke to spare after two rounds of qualifying at Walton Heath in Surrey.

Ramsay finished in a tie with Swede Johan Edfors and Dane Andreas Harto.

But the Scot had already left the course headed for a wedding reception in Belfast and arrived back as Edfors beat Harto to claim the 11th spot.

"I can't believe they played when it was pitch dark," said Ramsay after being told that it was all over and he had been made a reserve for Congressional on 16-19 June.

Edfors won his place just as the disbelieving former US Amateur champion pulled into the car park.

Four hours earlier, having finished his fog-delayed two rounds at four under par, the 27-year-old from Aberdeen had decided to go to Heathrow to try to catch a flight to Belfast and attend the wedding reception of fellow Tour player Gareth Maybin.

However, not only did he miss the plane but he was then told he could be in a play-off.

The expectations all day were that it would take place on Tuesday morning because of the time lost, but when the last group finished, officials saw the opportunity to get at least one extra hole in.

Edfors and Harto were understandably keen, especially knowing that Ramsay was likely to be absent.

And, with it being switched from a par four to a par three to speed things up, Harto lost when he failed to get up and down from a bunker.

"As I left at 5.30, guys were teeing off the first hole, but they made the decision and I can't do anything about it," said Ramsay.

"It's not up to me to say it's right or wrong, but it's just been an horrific day - just an awful, awful day."

It also proved to be a bad day for compatriot Colin Montgomerie.

Last year's Ryder Cup captain will still be returning to the course where he was runner-up to Ernie Els - but only as a television commentator after rounds of 72 and 73 proved five strokes too many.

"If you don't enter, you can't win - I gave it a go," said Montgomerie, who had high hopes following his seventh place at the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday - his first top 10 for almost three years.

"That's hard work - it was miserable out there."

Still in with a chance at level par with two par-fives to come, the 47-year-old, back up from 462nd in the world to 305th with his efforts in the European Tour's flagship event, failed to birdie either the 14th and 16th and, in between, had one of seven three-putts during the day.

The qualifiers were led by Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts, whose nine-under finish headed Ireland's Shane Lowry and Dutchman Maarten Lafeber by a stroke.

France's Thomas Levet was one further back and English pair David Howell and Robert Rock six under, while their compatriot Robert Dinwiddie, Gallacher, German Marcel Siem and Swede Alex Noren also made it.

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