Bob MacIntyre may sit out Mexico glamour event after missing cut in Saudi Arabia

Bob MacIntyre, the Scottish No 1, is ready to sit out a World Golf Championship later this month rather than run the risk of “making a fool” of himself alongside the game’s top players in the $10.5 million event in Mexico.

Bob MacIntyre is struggling with his fitness after a wrist injury. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images
Bob MacIntyre is struggling with his fitness after a wrist injury. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Speaking after missing the cut in the Saudi International, the 23-year-old from Oban said he was returning home to embark on a mission to get his body in shape so that it can allow him fulfil his potential on the world stage.

While MacIntyre, last year’s European Tour Rookie of the Year, wasn’t troubled at all by a hand problem in his disappointing early exit from this week’s event on the Red Sea coast, he was extremely downcast about how he was feeling in general physically.

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“I’m just looking forward to getting home, that’s all I can say,” said the left-hander after carding rounds of 72-71 at Royal Greens Golf Club in King Abdullah Economic City to miss the cut by two shots in the $3.5m tournament.

“I didn’t enjoy it this week. I can’t really commit to shots. It was the same last week [in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic], but I just had the short game to back me up then, so I’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s no pain in the hand. I’ve just got to get things sorted out before I come back out.”

His next event is due to be the WGC-Mexico Championship later this month, but that is no longer a certainty, even if it could be his last chance to break into the world’s top 50 in time to secure a Masters debut in April.

“My body is not allowing me to hit the shots. It’s just plain and simple, I need to get myself sorted out,” added MacIntyre, who finished 11th in last season’s Race to Dubai to put himself on Padraig Harrington’s Ryder Cup radar for this year’s match at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin. “Whether I take a decent break and get my body sorted before I come back out, I don’t know.

“Mexico is the next one that I’m planning to play, but, if my body is not allowing me to hit shots, I can’t compete with these guys. I’ve decided I’m not going to go there unless I’m fully fit.

“I’m walking down with four holes to go thinking to myself ‘get me out of here’ and that’s an attitude I’ve never had. But it’s all because my body’s not in the right place just now.

“For me, the WGC in Mexico is just another golf tournament. I know it’s a big event, but that’s probably the worst place to go when you’re not feeling great.

“Playing against the best players in the world, I’ll go out there and make a fool of myself if I’m not ready. So no. Whether it takes two days to fix or two years, now is the time to go and fix it.”

It’s a worrying time for the former Scottish Amateur champion, who was riding on the crest of a wave as he recorded seven top-ten finishes last season, including a tie for sixth on his major debut in The Open at Royal Portrush.

“I’ve never been injured in my life until now, so obviously it works up the chain. The hand feels good, it’s just other parts of the body that aren’t working,” he said. “I can’t really do any work, that’s my problem. I can’t stand on a range and batter balls because after 50 balls I start feeling it in my body.

“I just need to go home. I’m going to see a biomechanics guy to assess my technique to see if that’s got anything to do with my hand flaring up. So I’ll go and get things sorted out then come back and hopefully play some better golf.

“Watching Victor [Perez] today was unbelievable. I’m trying to play my best golf and I just can’t do that when I’ve not had time to work at it.”

Frenchman Perez leads by one shot after carding a second consecutive 65 to reach ten under par, with Gavin Green of Malaysia nine under following a 67.

Former US Open champion Graeme McDowell, pictured, is a shot further back but faces the threat of a slow-play penalty over the weekend after picking up a “bad time”.

McDowell took too long over his second shot to the fourth hole, his 13th, after conducting an in-round interview with Sky Sports reporter Tim Barter.

Another transgression in the final two rounds will see McDowell hit with a one-shot penalty, which could be crucial in his bid for a first European Tour win since 2014 in France.