BMW PGA: Bob MacIntyre praises mum for helping stricken fan at Wentworth
Bob MacIntyre may not have produced the heroic performance he was looking for in the opening round of the BMW PGA Championship, but the Scot was proud of his mum, Carol, for being a heroine off the course at Wentworth.
Needing a big performance in the final qualifying event to boost his chances of making a Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits later this month, the 25-year-old from Oban had to settle for a two-over-par 74 after dropping three shots in the last three holes.
“I’ve just not got it just now,” said MacIntyre, who sits 10 shots behind the leader, Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat, and is fighting to make the cut in the Rolex Series event. “Golf is beating me up at the moment, but I’ll get my time to beat it up soon.”
Playing with Ryder Cup assistant captain Graeme McDowell and fellow wildcard hopeful Alex Noren, MacIntyre’s day had got off to a harrowing start when an elderly male spectator collapsed behind the first green just after they’d arrived on it.
In the crowd following the group with husband Dougie and one of the couple’s foster children, Carol was one of the first people on the scene, cradling the stricken individual in her lap as medics were called to the scene.
Play was halted for close to half an hour before the man was transferred to an ambulance and taken to the nearby St Peter’s Hospital.
“It wasn’t nice,” said MacIntyre of the incident afterwards, “but we took our time and let everyone deal with what was there. I think another woman went down on the other side. I saw the ambulance rushing away when we were on the second green.”
On his mum going over, he said: “That’s the way I’ve been brought up. If I was in that position, I’d have been there trying to help. Hopefully the guy is alright. I could see it was her cradling the guy. I’ll speak to her later on and see how she is.
“She knows what she’s doing. She’s done nursing stuff. She’s a jack of all trades. She’s cared for so many older folk and, yip, she would have done that for her worst enemy if it came to it. She’s one of those people.
“As soon as it happened, I saw her there. But, thankfully, people gave them time and space and respected what was going on and we also did that.
“Sometimes I get on at her for doing too much for folk, but, in a situation like that, if someone is on hand, then great.
“She’s not a doctor or can diagnose something straight away, but she knows the basics and she knew to cool the guy down.
“I was watching what she was doing, but there were more people than just her there to help. She’s some machine is Carol Mac.”
After getting underway again following the unfortunate delay, MacIntyre almost holed his tee shot at the second and was going along nicely as he stood on two-under on the seventh tee.
However, a bogey there was followed by eight straight pars before dropping another shot at the 16th then running up a double-bogey 7 at the 17th, where his tee shot went out of bounds.
“It sums up the way I am playing,” said the left-hander of his effort. “Fifteen greens in regulation, I’m putting beautifully and I’m two-over par. I’m hitting it far too far away from holes. I can’t say the word to describe it just now.
“I’m playing good. I’ve got control of the ball. I hit one bad tee shot on the 17th. I’m just not hitting it close enough and it’s driving me insane. Even on the last. I’ve hit a good tee-shot. Two-iron in my hand and I have wiped it left. It’s the way the course is set up. You can’t guarantee the contact on the ball.
“It was high in the rough and I have the high toes in there for a reason. So I don’t go underneath it and I clipped the top groove. It’s what makes it such a good course.”
MacIntyre needs a top-two finish at the Surrey venue to have a chance of securing one of nine automatic Ryder Cup spots at the death. Failing that, he would need to secure one of three captain’s picks being announced here by Padraig Harrington on Sunday night.
“I’ll go to the range, hit some balls and speak to Davy [Burns, his coach] and see if I can get out of this rut,” he said. “I’m expecting to do that (back it up with a good score) tomorrow. The golf course suits me absolutely perfectly and that’s the most disappointing part of it.
“I felt the game had been good, I was putting it well and I got off to a great start but the par-5s are just killing me just now.
“I just want to be fighting for tournaments and just now I’m fighting to make cuts and that’s not where I want to be. I want to be in there come Sunday and now it’s just no fun.”
It was also a disappointing day for Calum Hill, another player who started the event with an outside chance of being on the plane to Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.
Playing in the group behind MacIntyre, the recent Cazoo Classic winner finished bogey-double bogey-bogey as he came home in 41 for 78.
Among the earlier starters, David Drysdale and Grant Forrest both signed for 70s before that was matched later in the day by Marc Warren. Richie Ramsay was the only other Scot to break par with a 71.
David Law, though, will be hoping to use the momentum from coming home in two-under in his par-72 to keep his cut hopes alive in the second circuit, when Stephen Gallacher (73) and Scott Jamieson (74) will both need improved efforts in their bid to be around for the weekend.
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