Bob MacIntyre hounded by fan over golf gambling in BMW PGA at Wentworth
The incident towards the end of MacIntyre’s second round in the $9 million Rolex Series tournament came a few weeks after Masters champion Jon Rahm had spoken about the issue on the PGA Tour.
The bet was apparently for just a few dollars between friends but, speaking at the Tour Championship in Atlanta the following week, Rahm said he felt it would be “extremely difficult” to prevent fans who have gambled on golf events from trying to directly affect the outcome.
MacIntyre found himself being targeted by a fan on his way to having the best score in his all-Ryder Cup group at the Surrey venue as he shot a 69 while Justin Rose and Matthew Fitzpatrick signed for 71 and 72 respectively.
“I was getting a bit of stick there coming up 17,” revealed the Oban man afterwards. “There’s obviously gambling going on in the game of golf nowadays and some people ride a lot of money on it - and, unfortunately, he lost today (laughing).”
Had the individual actually let him know he wanted to get beat by his playing partners? “Aye, he did and he told me the amount he had riding on it!” added MacIntyre. “I actually spoke about that to someone a few weeks ago, it might even have been Jon [Rahm] about the heckling on the PGA Tour.
“It’s all about gambling nowadays and I said to Greg [Milne, his caddie] walking to the 18th tee ‘be switched on as this guy could throw anything at us here, so keep an eye on him and do your job’.”
After a “poor finish” to his opening round as a visit to the water at the last left him having to settle for a 72, MacIntyre was much happier about how he did his own job on day two in an event featuring all 12 members of Europe’s Ryder Cup team. “It was a good fightback today,” he said of an effort that contained four birdies and one bogey.
The Scottish No 1 admitted he’d not be a happy chap after finishing on Thursday evening but laughed when it was suggested that there had been other times during the opening two rounds that he’d shown mixed emotions.
“Nah, I’m totally relaxed,” he said. “This is the best I’ve felt in about four or five weeks. I’m tough on myself. I show my emotion obviously, but I could hit the worst tee shot in the world and, if someone asked me a question straight afterwards, I would speak to them.”
On playing with former US Open champions Fitzpatrick and Rose, which suggests he could be paired with one of them at some point in Rome in a fortnight’s time, he added: “I knew them, but I didn’t know them personally before I got to do that on Monday in Rome and the last two days have been brilliant being with them. They’ve been great company on the golf course and the three of us are going to go into battle with each other in a couple of weeks, so I am looking forward to that.”
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