Bob MacIntyre aiming to be 'dangerous man' if he can play with a smile in 2022

Bob MacIntyre is aiming to “play with a smile on my face” and “ride the waves” as he bids to keep his foot to the floor on the back of three eye-catching seasons at golf’s top table.

Bob MacIntyre, wearing his new Nike clothing, is looking forward to starting his 2022 campaign in this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links. Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre, wearing his new Nike clothing, is looking forward to starting his 2022 campaign in this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links. Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images.

The 25-year-old is among 11 Scots teeing up in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and, for all of them apart from David Drysdale, it’s a first outing on the re-named DP World Tour.

In MacIntyre’s case, he’ll be hoping that a big-money rebranding exercise won’t mean a change in fortune, having made a name for himself in a short space of time when it was the European Tour.

He finished 11th in the Race to Dubai and was crowned Rookie of the Year in 2019, ended up just outside the top 20 the next year helped by a maiden win before finishing ninth - the first Scot to make the top 10 since 2012 - on the money-list last season.

Bob MacIntyre has old caddie Greg Milne standing in for Mike Thomson in this week's Rolex Series event. Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images.

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Add in successive top-10 finishes in The Open and a tie for 12th on his Masters debut, meaning he’s heading back to Augusta National in April, and it’s certainly been so far, so good for the left-hander.

MacIntyre heads into the new season sitting 58th in the world rankings, which is around the same spot he was 12 months ago before breaking into the top 50 for a spell.

After an enjoyable seven-week break at home since his last competitive outing, he’s eager to get going again at Yas Links, a new venue for this week’s $8 million Rolex Series event.

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Bob MacIntyre: I was close to throwing towel in for year before big Dubai finish

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“I don’t really set many goals,” said MacIntyre as he looked ahead to his 2022 campaign. “Obviously, I have little targets like getting back in the top 50 in the world and will just ride the waves when they come.

“The main thing is enjoying myself and hopefully, with this Covid disappearing hopefully, I can start enjoying myself a bit more with friends and family at more events. If I can enjoy myself and play with a smile on my face, then I can be a dangerous man.

“It’s no surprise that I’ve played well in the majority of my majors and that’s because I’ve had friends and family around to support me. That makes me feel as though I am staying at home in Oban.”

MacIntyre’s mood at the end of last season was transformed as darkness caused by a closing 82 in Portugal quickly disappeared as got himself in the mix in the year-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai and eventually tied for fourth behind Open champion Collin Morikawa.

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“100 per cent,” he replied to being asked if he was heading into the new campaign feeling confident about giving himself opportunities to add to that title triumph in Cyprus.

“The final event last year was disappointing the way I finished it, but I was there all the way and now I feel the putting is there and tee to green game is there. It’s just about matching it up.”

MacIntyre, who has old caddie Greg Milne filling in for Mike Thomson this week, and Drysdale are joined in flying the Saltire at Yas Links by Colin Montgomerie, Stephen Gallacher, David Law, Grant Forrest, Richie Ramsay, Connor Syme, Marc Warren, Scott Jamieson and Challenge Tour graduate Ewen Ferguson.

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