8am Round-Up: Bob MacIntyre hoping to ‘match’ pros in Spain

Robert MacIntyre is playing in this week's Challenge Tour event as an amateur. Picture: Getty Images
Robert MacIntyre is playing in this week's Challenge Tour event as an amateur. Picture: Getty Images
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Having won the Scottish Amateur before reaching the final of the British Amateur, Bob MacIntyre’s golf game seems suited to match-play.

That could come in handy this weekend if the left-hander from Glencruitten can upstage some professionals in two rounds of stroke-play over the next two days.

This week’s Challenge Tour event at La Cala in southern Spain may start like a normal event, but it then becomes something different.

The Andalucía Costa del Sol Match Play 9 turns into a series of head-to-head ties on Saturday and Sunday involving the leading 32 qualifiers.

As the only amateur in the field, it’s going to be a tough task for MacIntyre to be in that group, but he’s ready to give it a go as he enjoys the same sort of opportunity that both Grant Forrest and Ewen Ferguson found so helpful last year before setting out on their professional careers.

“The start of the season has been solid, having played well in the Nations Cup then in the Lytham Trophy, where, having struggled last year, I tied for 16th despite a poor last round,” said MacIntyre, who sits sixth in the World Amateur Golf Rankings.

“This week is a great opportunity to see where my game is at the level up and also a great chance to start plotting my next move in the game.

“In recent years, I feel like my match-play game has been good due to the venues (he won the Scottish Amateur at Muirfield and reached the British Amateur final at Royal Porthcawl) as it’s been a golf course where tee to green is so important and that’s the same this week.

“However, I am here playing in another golf tournament. That’s all it is. There’s no extra pressure, so here’s hoping for a good event.”

Forrest and Ferguson are also in the field, as are fellow Team SSE Scottish Hydro members Ross Kellett and David Law, plus Bradley Neil, Jamie McLeary, Jack Doherty and Peter Whiteford.

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Spanish star Jon Rahm has confirmed his participation in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

The world No 12 will join Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose at Portstewart in July in what will be the third Rolex Series event on this season’s European Tour.

It is also believed that Rahm, who won on the PGA Tour at Torrey Pines earlier this year, is set to play in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open the following week at Dundonald Links.

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Callum Macaulay will resume tied for the lead in the weather-hit PGA EuroPro Tour’s IFX Championship at Frilford Heath.

The event has been reduced from 54 to 36 holes after play was suspended at just after 10am yesterday and did not resume due to heavy and persistent rain.

The first round will now conclude today with the final round to be played tomorrow.

Macaulay covered his first six holes in four-under to sit at the top of the leaderboard alongside Welshman James Frazer.

Another Scot, Louis Gaughan, started with three straight birdies before the suspension.

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Two Scots - Fintan McKenna from Royal Aberdeen and Irvine’s Stuart Easton - came through a qualifier for next week’s Brabazon Trophy at Woodhall Spa.

McKenna shot 70 and Easton 71 to be among 31 players to progress from a North qualifier at Sandiway in Cheshire.

Sam Broadhurst, son of Senior Open champion Paul, won that event with a five-under 65.

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A world record-setting sailor has been named as Team Europe’s first ambassador for the 2018 Ryder Cup.

Armel Le Cléac’h’s appointment in the role came with 500 days to go until the the 42nd Ryder Cup tees off at Le Golf National in Paris.

“I’m proud to be an ambassador of next year’s Ryder Cup in France and to attend what will be a global event,” said Le Cléac’h, who successfully circumnavigated the globe single-handedly in just over 74 days in the 2016-17 Vendée Globe.

“I am delighted to be part of this adventure and to show that golf is a truly accessible and exciting sport, just like any other.”

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Defending champion Robert Arnott is sharing the lead in the rain-hit opening round of the Silversea Senior PGA Championship at Foxhills in Surrey.

The Bishopbriggs Golf Range man had moved to two-under after 12 holes when play was suspended for the day due to the courses becoming flooded.

Alongside Arnott when play resumes today are English pair John Clarke and Nick Walton, the latter attached to Glasgow Golf Club.