Bob MacIntyre has a 'very bright future', says two-time US Open champion Andy North

Two-time US Open champion Andy North believes Bob MacIntyre is destined for a “very bright future” after his admiration for the young Scot grew on the back of a sparkling Masters debut last month.

Bob MacIntyre finished joint-12th in the season's first major, last month's Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. Picture: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images.

North, who landed his major victories in 1978 and 1985, had already identified MacIntyre as a “talented player” before watching him tie for 12th at Augusta National to secure a return trip next year.

Speaking ahead of the second major of the season, this week’s US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, the American said he now expects the left-hander from Oban to continue making his presence felt on leaderboards in the game’s showpiece events.

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“He sure got a nice start,” North, speaking in a media conference call in his role as one of ESPN’s golf analysts for the event starting on Thursday on the South Carolina coast, told The Scotsman of MacIntyre having made the cut in all four majors at the first attempt.

“That's the best part. He's proven to himself, and that's probably the most important thing, that he can get himself near the lead and can play well.

“When you start figuring that part out as a player, you've got a chance to really go forward from there. So many guys, that takes years to do. He's done it pretty quickly. So I think he's got a very bright future because of that.”

MacIntyre, who is flying the Saltire at Kiawah Island along with Martin Laird, has also impressed another double US Open winner, Curtis Strange, through his eye-catching endeavours in the US over the past couple of months.

Prior to the Masters, the 2019 European Tour Rookie of the Year tied with Dustin Johnson as he topped a group that included the world No 1 in the WGC-Dell Technologies Championship in Texas.

“You know, you come out, big step from amateur golf to pro golf,” said Strange on the same call. “You just improve, you keep working, keep grinding, keep getting better. Some do, some don't. He looks like somebody that's going to do that.”

While MacIntyre is among the players heading to Kiawah Island for the first time, Rory McIlroy won the same event there in 2012 by eight shots with a 13-under-par 275 total.

In a timely boost following a disappointing early exit at the Masters, the four-time major champion returned to winning ways with a third Wells Fargo Championship success last Sunday.

“When he played so poorly at the Masters, I was concerned because I care so much, and I think everybody cares so much about him,” said Strange.

“He's pretty much the voice of the tour now. He's such a good guy, honest to a fault. We were all rooting for him.

“You try to be unbiased but you can't help but root for a guy that's so talented that you want to see play well, and he played so poorly at the Masters you don't want to see him continue to go back.

“At some point you've got to stop this, and only the individual knows how to do that or tries to do it. I had a big smile on my face last Sunday when he won. I think it's good for golf, it's good for all of us, and it's good for him, more importantly.”

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