Bob MacIntyre goes close again to landing first European Tour win

Bob MacIntyre climbed to 13th spot in this season’s Race to Dubai after recording back-to-back runner-up finishes on the European Tour following a thrilling last-day duel with Bernd Wiesberger in the Made in Denmark event.

Bob Macintyre, left, shakes hands with winner Bernd Wiesberger. Picture: Getty.

The Austrian came out on top to claim a fifth victory on the circuit and first since he returned to action after being sidelined for seven months with a wrist problem, but it was another eye-catching performance from 22-year-old MacIntyre.

A fortnight after an eagle-birdie sign-off to claim a share of second spot in the Betfred British Masters at Hillside, the left-hander from Oban finished outright runner-up on this occasion at Himmerland Golf Resort, which sits to the south-west of Aalborg.

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As the pair went toe-to-toe in the final circuit, MacIntyre matched Wiesberger’s closing five-under-par 66 to finish with a 13-under-par 271 total, one off the winning aggregate for the second time in a row in his rookie season.

The effort earned MacIntyre around £294,000, taking his earnings in his last two starts to more than £500,000 after he had picked up close to £224,000 for that brilliant display in Lancashire.

“I gave it everything I had and I am proud of the way I finished,” said the former Scottish Amateur champion afterwards. “My aim was to be in with a sniff going down the 18th and I did have a chance, but Bernd played brilliant all day. “

One behind overnight, MacIntyre soon found himself trailing by three shots as Wiesberger birdied both the first and third before it was all tied between the two players in the final group as MacIntyre birded the fourth and the leader ran up a double-bogey 6.

Wiesberger got his nose in front again when he chipped in from 66 yards for an eagle 3 at the 11th, but he then bogeyed the 13th as MacIntyre made birdie to get back on level terms once more.

Both players birdied the 14th before Wiesberger edged back in front with another on the 16th, and MacIntyre then drove out of bounds at the 17th but did well to limit the damage to a bogey as he made 3 with his second ball.

That left him two behind and, though Wiesberger drove into a water hazard on the right of the 18th, he was able to scramble a 5 as MacIntyre had to settle for a par 4.

“I hit a poor shot on 17, which really cost me,” added the Scot. “I’d hit two of the worst wedge shots I’d hit for a long time the two holes before, so I didn’t want to leave myself with another 110-yard shot.

“We decided to try to get it right down the bottom. The wind suited us, but it was probably the worst swing I’ve put on a shot for a long time. But, hey, I’m young. I live and learn.”

MacIntyre, one of four Scots to graduate from the Challenge Tour last season, is set to climb from 189th to around 120th when the world rankings are updated today.

“I said it to Greg (Milne, his caddie), my coach and my family. I get a great feeling in the grip of the putter maybe twice or thrice a year and the last two times I’ve played it’s felt unbelievable,” he admitted of his red-hot form.

“On 14 today, I don’t know how my eagle putt missed then I had a full horseshoe with a chip on 15. It just wasn’t meant to be for me today. It’s golf. You’ve just got to keep plodding on. You’ve just to keep knocking at the door and one will open eventually.”

Wiesberger’s first win since landing the 2017 Shenzhen International came in his 13th event since making a comeback following that spell on the sidelines last season. “I didn’t expect it all, I had a rough year last year,” he admitted. “Winning is never easy.

“I had so many great people helping me and getting me back to where I am right now. I’ve had so much support, it’s been amazing, and I’m proud to pay it back that way. It’s been such a great week here, I’ve enjoyed myself so much. I’ve loved the way I’ve started playing.”

Richie Ramsay closed with a 68 to claim a share of 12th spot on seven under, a third successive top-15 finish, lifting the Aberdonian to 69th in the Race to Dubai.

A last-round 69 for four under secured a share of 25th for Grant Forrest, but Scott Jamieson slipped 30 spots to joint 41st with a 73 while David Law (71) and David Drysdale (78) ended up tied for 66th and 72nd respectively.

• Ewen Ferguson and Calum Hill both secured top-25 finishes behind Englishman Ross McGowan in the D+D Real Czech Challenge at Kaskada Golf Resort in Brno. Ferguson closed with a 71 to tie for 21st on six under, a shot ahead of Hill as a 68 earned him a share of 25th spot.

McGowan, 37, returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in four years with a wire-to-wire victory, firing rounds of 66-66-66-68 for an 18-under total and a four-shot success.