CRANS-SUR-SIERRE, Switzerland (AP) — Richie Ramsay captured the biggest prize of his professional golf career on Sunday, three weeks before he returns to the scene of his greatest amateur triumph to get married.
Ramsay shot a 5-under 66 to win the European Masters by four strokes. The 29-year-old Scotsman was in control for most of the final round in the sun-bathed Swiss Alps and finished at 16-under 267. Four players tied for second.
"It's just incredible, the whole day went to plan," said Ramsay, who thought the win would move his career "up a notch. It definitely pushes me to another level."
Ramsay earned $440,000 for his second European Tour victory, following the South African Open title in 2009. The overnight leader put the victory above his triumph in the 2006 U.S. Amateur Championship, which he won in Hazeltine, Minn.
"It's a bigger win than the U.S. Amateur," said Ramsay, who is now based in Atlanta. "If you look at the field and the place and the way that I did it."
It was one timely victory, too.
Ramsay is planning to marry Angela Hudinski on Sept. 21 at the Hazeltine club where they met during the tournament that launched his international reputation.
"I met Angela there and we're going back there to get married," Ramsay said, joking that their guests will now expect him to fund the drinks bill.
Ramsay, who is set to move up the world rankings from No. 110 into the top 70, had never before led a tour event after 54 holes, and countryman Paul Lawrie was favored Sunday as he sought back-to-back victories after winning the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles.