Depending on your point of view, having two Scots in the top 100 of golf’s world rankings is either an admirable effort in a global pursuit of formidable depth or a poor return for a nation that gave birth to the game.
The upwardly mobile Robert MacIntyre is the standard bearer on that particular pecking order at No.83 with Florida-based Russell Knox behind him at No.96. 

For Richie Ramsay, who is currently ranked 216th but once reached a high of 52nd, the sight of two of his compatriots in the elite echelon remains something to savour. 

Enjoy these moments, reckons Ramsay, because things are only going to get harder. “Just because we are Scotland and we are the home of golf, we don’t have any right to be on top of the world rankings,” said the Aberdonian ahead of this week’s Turkish Airlines Open. “Two players from Scotland inside the top 100 is ok.”

HeraldScotland:

Ramsay likes to look at the wider picture of golf in this country when blethering about such topics. While there is plenty of good work being done to bolster participation, the closure of courses, the lack of juniors at certain clubs and a variety of other social, economic and recreational challenges all impact on the development of the next generation. 

“The stats show that there are not as many junior members coming through, people are less active and all this tends to work against you,” he added. “There are not exposed to golf as much so it gets harder to bring players through. 

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“It’s certainly not going to get any easier. On tour, you have to improve just to hold on to your position. If we still have two players in the top 100 in a few years then that’s all right.”

MacIntyre’s rise into the top 100, meanwhile, has been a timely tonic for Scottish golf. 

With a canny, consistent and competitive game, MacIntyre has put Oban well and truly on the global golfing map with the kind of eye-catching displays that will have him immortalised in bronze outside the Glencruitten clubhouse. 

A top-20 finish on his debut in a star-studded WGC event in China last week was another sign that MacIntyre is very much the real deal.

HeraldScotland:

Nothing has fazed the 23-year-old during his rookie season and this week’s shoot-out in Turkey is yet another chance to climb the rankings, earn some serious money and grab that win that he has been threatening in a season which has included three second-place finishes. 

“I feel like my game is going to the next level now,” said MacIntyre. “Yes, it has been a dream run for me but this is all feeling normal now. 

“This is the level I’m playing at now and I feel I’m doing a decent job of maintaining that level of performance. 

“There’s no cut this week so I can be really aggressive. There’s nothing to lose.”