Short term gains make MacIntyre good long-term prospect

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Short term gains make MacIntyre good long-term prospect

Euro Tour

Short term gains make MacIntyre good long-term prospect

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Not many would have picked Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre to emerge top of the class before the 2017 Walker Cup. Yet the left hander is head and shoulders above his teammates on this year’s European Tour.

MacIntyre earned his second runner-up finish on the European Tour in as many weeks, in just his 15th European Tour event. Austrian Bernd Wiesberger was the only man to stand above him in the $3.4 million Made in Denmark tournament.

Wiesberger put seven frustrating months out with injury last year behind him by picking up his fifth European Tour victory, and first since 2017 Shenzhen International.

MacIntyre matched Wiesberger’s 5-under 66 to finish on 13-under-par 271, a stroke behind Wiesberger.

SCORES: Made in Denmark

The Scot might have won if not for a bogey on the 17th hole when he hit his tee shot out of bounds. However, he left Denmark focussing on the positives.

“I’m proud of the way I finished,” MacIntyre said. “I thought I gave it everything I had. It was a poor shot on 17 that really cost me. It’s the worst swing I’ve probably put on a shot in a long, long time, but I’m young, I live and I learn.”

His check for $374,000 takes his season earnings to $795,000. He’s 13th on the Race to Dubai, the highest ranked Scot. He’s in pole position to win the rookie of the year award. Not bad for a guy who began the season just hoping to hang onto the European card for 2020.

The man from the seaside port of Oban on Scotland’s west coast took care of his card for 2020 with his second-place finish in the British Masters two weeks ago. He can freewheel for the rest of the season, unlike Walker Cup teammate Jack Singh Brar who stands at 117th on the money list, needing to get inside the top 110 to play next year’s European Tour.

The left hander finished GB&I’s second highest points earner behind England’s Singh Brar at Los Angeles Country Club with two and a half points out of four, including a 6&4 drubbing of Cameron Champ. He stood out from his teammates not only because he was left-handed, but because of his background.

MacIntyre doesn’t come from a rich family. Glencruitten Golf Club in Oban is no country club. Five-time Open winner James Braid might have designed the hilly parkland layout, but it’s nowhere near other notable creations like Gleneagles.

Glencruitten measures just 4,434 yards to a par of 62. It has just one par-5, the 445-yard first hole.  It has nine par-3s.

Yet MacIntyre used this modest layout to develop a game that has taken him to heights he probably never dreamed of. He’s got there through perseverance and a never say die attitude that was evident in Los Angeles. That might come from playing shinty as a youngster. To those who don’t know this Gaelic game, consider it no holds barred hockey on grass. It’s not for shrinking violets.

MacIntyre made the right choice in picking golf over shinty. It led to victories in the Scottish Boys Open Stroke Play, Scottish Youths and Scottish Amateur Championships. Many wouldn’t have been surprised if that had been the sum total of his achievements, but MacIntyre had other ideas.

He took the 12th card on last year’s European Challenge Tour to earn playing rights on this year’s circuit. He didn’t win on that tour, but a European Tour W seems right around the corner.

“It’s just golf, we’ve just got to keep knocking on that door and one will open,” MacIntyre said.

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