Bob MacIntyre 'delighted' to make cut on his US Open debut
Bob MacIntyre showed both his class and battling qualities once again on one of golf's biggest stages to make it three cuts from three starts in majors.
The 24-year-old from Oban covered his last eight holes in one-under-par on a "brutal" day at Winged Foot in the second round of the 120th US Open to be among 62 players to progress to the weekend.
It was a similar gutsy effort to the one he produced with his back against the wall to make the cut thanks to a second-round 67 in last month's US PGA Championship at Harding Park in San Francisco.
Having started his major career by finishing in a tie for sixth behind Shane Lowry in last year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush, MacIntyre has hit the ground running in the game's showpiece events.
"Yeah, it feels good," he admitted of this latest effort, having been outside the projected cut mark before making birdies at the second and fourth on his back nine in carding a 72 for a six-over total.
"It was disappointing to finish yesterday's round poorly and I didn't play too great today, but my short game finally turned up today.
"It's one of those golf courses you're not going to play great, and all week you're going to get tough spells. I'm obviously delighted to make the cut."
It means he has two more rounds to try and raise more money for his alma mater, McNeese State University in Louisiana, after pledging $3,500 for every birdie or better to a Hurricane Laura emergency fund.
That total already stands at $21,000 after backing up three birdies in the first round with the same number on day two, the other one coming at the 17th - his eighth.
The pleasing thing for last season's European Tour Rookie of the Year is that he's still standing on his US Open debut despite the fact he's not produced his best stuff so far.
"Nothing's really firing," he admitted. "It's just been mediocre all the way through the bag. Today I putted great, and back nine hit some great iron shots to kind of make the birdies.
"Other than that, I'd say overall I've actually driven it all right. The stats don't show it, but it's one of those golf courses that sometimes I'm hitting driver just because some of the holes don't suit me.
"I'm hitting driver, but I know I'm going in the rough. I would rather have an 8 iron out of the rough than a 5 iron or 4 iron from middle of the fairway back. Sometimes I'm just taking my chances, and it's paying off."
MacIntyre, who will be flying the Saltire on his own over the weekend after Connor Syme and Sandy Scott both missed the cut, is aiming to add to his growing bank of experience in big events in the final two rounds.
"It's another major cut made," he said. "I'm just out here learning. I'm only 24 years old. I know there's younger guys up the leaderboard, but, for me, I've come over here and I'm playing in stronger fields.
Playing in the same group as MacIntyre, 22-year-old Nairn amateur Scott was also on course to be around for the weekend after back-to-back birdies on his front nine moved him to six-over for the tournament.
However, four bogeys in the first five holes coming home left him on the back foot again before covering the last four holes in one under as added a 74 to his opening 75 to end up on nine-over.
Earlier, Syme had an early-morning return to finish his first round, having been in the one group still out on the course when play was halted due to darkness on Thursday evening.
The 25-year-old Fifer made it 11 pars in a row with a 4 to finish for a 75, which he repeated in the second circuit, signing off with five straight regulation figures in a round that saw him hit 10 out of 14 fairways.
"I think it was as tough as I expected," said Syme of this week's test. "I just didn't drive it anywhere near well enough yesterday, and then today I actually played well, but I actually putted really, really poor for two days. I don't think I made one putt outside five feet really. So that was my weakness for sure.
"On a couple of days where you're going to be out of position a few times, you're going to have to make some putts, and I literally didn't hole anything. So I'll kind of go away and work on that.
"Obviously, the greens are a lot more challenging than probably we play back home. Something to learn from definitely. That's something I try to do all the time. If I don't play well, it's something to learn and try to get better the next time."
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