Bob MacIntyre: I'm going to St Andrews with intentions to win The Open

It’s already brought out the best in Bob MacIntyre twice, having tied for sixth in his debut at Royal Portrush in 2019 then making the top 10 again at Royal St George’s this year.

Bob Macintyre tees off on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews during this year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.
Bob Macintyre tees off on the 18th hole on the Old Course at St Andrews during this year's Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

But the 2022 edition of The Open is the one he really wants to have his name up on that iconic giant leaderboard at the 18th green. And perhaps even right at the top.

"I can’t wait,” admitted the 25-year-old from Oban of next year’s 150th staging of the game’s oldest major, with the Old Course at St Andrews set to be a fitting venue for that occasion.

“If I could only have played one Open, it would be the Open at St Andrews. If I could pick one, it would be there. For the buzz, and the atmosphere of being a Scot playing an Open Championship on home soil is where we all want to be.”

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In his rookie season on the European Tour, MacIntyre looked very much at home throughout the week at Royal Portrush and it was the same story at Royal Portrush.

But, even though it is still more than seven months away, there was a sparkle in the left-hander’s eyes as he looked forward to standing on the first tee at St Andrews and hearing his name being announced.

“Getting to do that is something I have dreamed of,” he admitted. “But I’m not just going there for the sake of playing, I’m going to compete.

“I’ll be going off the position of two good finishes in my first two Opens, so I know what to expect, I know the atmosphere to expect. So I’ll go there with all intentions to win, like I do every week.”

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Bob Macintyre shakes hands with caddie Mike Thomson during this year's Open at Royal St George’s. Picture: Christopher Lee/Getty Images.

MacIntyre played the Old Course in amateur events, including the Links Trophy, and has also teed up in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as both an amateur and a professional.

"It’s good, but it takes a bit of getting used to,” he said of the Fife venue. “I hope the rough is up and I’m sure it will be.

“There is a lot that I still need to learn, even though I’ve played it so many times – little things that I can’t see visually. But we’ll turn up and hopefully it blows and rains and makes it tough.”

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Having had his spot tied down before the ballot for next year’s event was announced by the R&A, it’s likely that MacIntyre will have plenty of familiar faces cheering him on in a tournament that will see Collin Morikawa as the defending champion.

But, in the event of a big demand from friends and family, he’s leaving his manager, Iain Stoddart, and the co-founder of Bounce Sport, Derek Ritchie, to sort that out.

“That’s out of my control,” said MacIntyre, laughing. “I’ve got a small, but good, team around me and I’m sure if they want tickets, the guys will come up with them.

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“It’s not a big team I’ve got or a big army that travels with me, it’s a small group that tries to help me and wants me to succeed.”

Following in not only MacIntyre’s footsteps but also those of Grant Forrest, Calum Hill, David Law and Connor Syme in recent years, Ewen Ferguson and Craig Howie have just stepped up to the rebranded DP World Tour as Challenge Tour graduates.

What advice does McIntyre have for them? "Don’t change a bloody thing!” he declared. “It’s a game of golf and how good can you be at a game? There is only so good you can be at a game.

“You have got to this level by doing certain things and it works and you just keep doing those same little things. Then if you see something that needs to improve, go and do it.

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“One of the main things you have to do is invest in yourself. If you think it is going to help you, do it. If you don’t think it is going to help you, don’t do it.

“For me, it’s not rocket science, it’s simple. And do the simple things right and have the right people around you to do the same things. Then just go and play golf and get on with it.”

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