Bob MacIntyre bemoans 'devastating' day as 76 sees him slip back in Masters
On the back of two successive 73s, the Oban man had extended the run at the start of his career of making the cut in majors to eight out of eight. To put that into context, Rory McIlroy made five in a row when he was at the same stage, Phil Mickelson did the trick four times and Tiger Woods and Gary Player three.
It was just one for Jordan Spieth while Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson all missed the cut on their major debuts.
Despite his impressive run, most of which have come in the US, the Scot is still relatively unknown on this side of the Atlantic. “His name is MacIntyre - he must be from Scotland with a name like that,” said one patron as the left-hander departed the putting green en route to the first tee.
After play had finished on Friday, it looked a possibility that MacIntyre might find himself with Woods for company in the third round. As it turned out, the five-time winner was in the group behind as MacIntyre headed out with another former world No 1, Lee Westwood.
Having teed off just as Woods emerged from the clubhouse, MacIntyre opened with a great drive for the third day running. But, after seeing his second get caught by the wind and come up short, a bogey went down on the card as a 12-footer lipped out.
It quickly became apparent that his putter matched the temperature. A 10-foot birdie chance went abegging at the par-5 second and then again at the next, knowing there that he’d missed less than halfway to the hole.
Watched by mum Carol, dad Dougie and sister Gillian, MacIntyre was outwitted by the wind again at the seventh, where, from slap bang in the middle of the fairway, his approach found a front bunker and led to a second bogey of the day.
The 11th was described by Rory McIlroy as “basically a new hole” due to changes that had been implemented since the 2021 edition. MacIntyre is probably wishing they’d left it alone as it’s proved costly all week.
His pushed drive went deep into the trees, resulting in a rare lost ball in this event and leading to a double-bogey 6. He’d taken the same score on the opening day after getting wet before taking a 5 on Friday. Called ‘White Dogwood’, it’s probably not his favourite hole on the course.
Safely on the dancefloor at the short 12th, his 25-foot birdie attempt broke a fraction late to catch the edge of the hole before seeing his hopes of getting home in two at the next scuppered as he found the pine straw in the trees on the right with his tee shot and, as a consequence of his escape from there only being partially successful, still had 199 yards for his third and had to settle for a par. Six of those to finish and he signed for a 76 - his worst score in six circuits - to sit on six-over.
“I actually felt like I didn’t play bad,” said MacIntyre afterwards. “I played some good golf but just punished me every chance I got. I hit one bad shot overall and that was the tee shot into 11, so I felt like I played solid.
“I felt uncomfortable at points hitting some shots straight into the crowds, but you can’t move everyone then just disappointed with the way it went.”
On the conditions, he added: “It was difficult. I felt like my first two bogeys were just the wrong clubs, just not thinking about it and could have been avoided, so really disappointed the way it has turned out today.
“I feel like I am in control of my golf ball and that’s absolutely devastating to shoot four over par even in these conditions because I shouldn’t be doing that. I chipped and putted well; I hit the ball the way I was wanting to hit it. Yep, we could have got right back into position today to finish strong, this has just blown every opportunity.”
To his credit, it didn’t harm his sense of humour. On playing with Westwood, who shot a 73, he said: “I think that's the second time I've played with Lee Westwood and I've not made a birdie, so I hope I don't see him on a tee box again any time soon! (laughing)”
Playing a few groups ahead of MacIntyre, Rory McIlroy’s hopes of making a charge up the leaderboard stalled straight away as he caught the lip of a bunker at the first, left in the sand and opened with a bogey.
Still trying to come up with a recipe for success in his bid to complete a career grand slam by landing this prize, the four-time major winner offset a birdie-2 at the fourth by giving that back two holes later. He then birdied the seventh, bogeyed the 12th before moving into red figures for the day with gains at both the 13th and 15th.
McIlroy eventually signed for a 71 to sit on one-under, but, with overnight leader Scottie Scheffler looking intent to keep his foot to the floor, it seemed almost certain that his search for that missing link would be extended for another year, making it eight rolls of the dice here now without coming up with a double six.
"I played well,” said McIlroy. “It's just hard to go very low out there. Tt's been a tough couple of days, and I've just sort of hung in there as best as I could. It's not really conditions favorable for going low and trying to get close to the leaders. So it's just sort of hanging in there and doing the best that you can.”
In that game behind MacIntyre and Westwood, Woods dropped a shot at the first for the second day running before the small army of patrons following him were whooping and hollering as he birdied the second.
Just making it to the weekend had been an impressive achievement by the man who was hauled out of a mangled car in Los Angeles 14 months ago, but the bubble was well truly burst as far as his hopes of making it a dream return by what happened on the fifth green.
From the front of the green, his first putt was a decent effort, but he then took three more shots from no more than seven feet as a double-bogey 6 left him looking a bit deflated for the first time during the week. The 15-time major winner went on to post a 78 - his highest-ever Masters score in 93 rounds.
“Today was a challenge with the conditions,” said Woods, who had 36 putts, afterwards. “The conditions were tough today. They were tough yesterday starting out, but at least we got a little bit of a lull at the end.
“Today it's just been blustery all day. You add in the temperature difference, it was cold starting out. The ball wasn't going very far.
“I felt like I didn't really hit it that bad, but I had four three-putts and a four-putt. I mean, it's just like I hit a thousand putts out there on the greens today.
“Obviously it's affected the score. You take those away and I have normal two putts, I made even par for the day.
“I did what I needed to do ball striking-wise, but I did absolutely the exact opposite on the greens.”
Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today.
Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.