Bob MacIntyre is aiming to round off his scintillating first European Tour season by producing a polished performance in the final circuit of the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai before returning to Oban to do his chores in the family home.
It’s effectively job done for the 23-year-old in his bid to become the first Scot since Marc Warren in 2006 to be crowned as Rookie of the Year after surging clear of his main rival, American Kurt Kitayama, in the penultimate round of the season-ending event at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Sparked by three straight birdies at the start, MacIntyre carded a four-under-par 68 on the Earth Course for a three-under total to sit 10 shots ahead of Kitayama after the Californian slipped to second last in the 50-man field following a 77.
Only a last-day collapse by MacIntyre or Kitayama playing out of his skin will now deny the Scottish left-hander claiming the Sir Henry Cotton Award, which was won in recent years by both Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm.
“It would be a great achievement,” admitted MacIntyre, who is bidding to become the 11th Scot to land the newcomers’ title but first since it became determined by the Race to Dubai rankings as opposed to a vote.
“Once it came in my sight, then that was obviously a goal that we set, and to be in with a shout now, it would mean everything for the season I’ve had and it would put a right good stamp for the family, as well.”
Paired with Kitayama for the opening two rounds here, MacIntyre hadn’t been firing on all cylinders but, in the company of Spaniard Jorge Campillo on this occasion, he made six birdies in total on a difficult golf course.
“Not playing alongside Kurt today I could just step up and go for my golf as the last two days I felt I was kind of always looking over my shoulder at what he was doing,” he admitted.
“I found myself watching everything he was doing and I just felt it was affecting my own play but not today as I was playing ‘Bob’s golf’ and that is the best golf I can play.
“I found something in my long game and mainly my driver. I could go at it today and knew where it was going . The last two days I had been guiding it when I should have just been pegging it up and giving it a rip.”
In a season that has seen him record seven top-10 finishes, MacIntyre is playing in his 31st event and is ready for a break, one that will give him a chance to give a niggling wrist injury some much-needed rest.
But, after climbing 12 spots into a share of 20th spot, he is determined to keep his foot on the pedal in the final circuit and wrap up that rookie award in style.
“The aim tomorrow is to go as low as I can,” he declared. “I’ve got one last round before a nice break, so we will be staying positive and giving it everything I’ve got right to the end.
“I’m excited for the time off coming up. I’m sure my mum will have the chores ready for me when I get home, but for now it’s one round to go and enjoy it.
“My mum is the boss in the house. Everyone gets a job in that house. She keeps us grounded, whether it is looking after the boys (the family’s foster kids) or doing some house work.”
Mum Carol and dad Dougie, the head greenkeeper at Glencruitten, are among a group of fans from Oban who have followed him every step of the way here so far, with MacIntyre revealing his parents have different outlooks on life.
“My mum is definitely the positive one out of the two and I reckon I’m more my mum mindset-wise,” he said, smiling.
“It’s a Scottish thing with my dad. He always thinks the worst, but that’s just natural with my dad and is down to him having played sport (shinty) at the top level.
“I’ve actually told my dad, ‘see if I’ve hit my first putt and it’s gone a fair bit by and I look up after marking it and see you, you are in trouble’ because it instantly comes into my head.
“I know what he’s thinking, so he tries to get way out of the way once we get on to the greens. He tries to stay out of my eyesight!”