Bob MacIntyre proud to see Scotland show it can 'punch hard'

Bob MacIntyre reckons Scotland’s success in securing Nations League promotion was a prime example of the country’s sports stars showing they can “punch hard”.

Bob MacIntyre smiles during his press conference ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre smiles during his press conference ahead of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Picture: Oisin Keniry/Getty Images.

Steve Clarke’s side are the toast of the nation after topping their group to secure a spot in the Euro 2024 draw as well as pot 2 seed.

They will also be squaring up to the likes of France, Germany and Croatia in the next Nations League campaign as both England and Wales face up to relegation.

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MacIntyre, Scotland’s top-ranked male professional golfer, hailed the feat by posting on Twitter after Tuesday night’s goalless draw with Ukraine in Krakow.

He was still beaming when asked about it on the eve of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which is taking place at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.

“I'm a diehard Scot,” declared MacIntyre. “It's on my golf ball (in the form of a Saltire) every day I play. The country means everything to me.

“It's something that in sport, when a country always gets knocked down, we get battered, we get told we are not good enough, and I think it's a nationwide thing, and it's always about how we are not doing well enough.

“And, you know what, for a small country, I think we punch hard. That's all we can do. I've grown up playing all the sports, football, shinty, you name it, I've played it.

“And to see Scotland doing so well in so many different sports now, it's brilliant and it's only going to get better.”

MacIntyre was the toast of the country himself less than a fortnight ago when he held off Rory McIlroy and Matthew Fitzpatrick to land a second DP World Tour win in the Italian Open.

The Oban man has FedEx Cup winner McIlroy and US Open champion Fitzpatrick among his rivals again this week and is relishing the challenge.

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“My game is in good shape,” declared MacIntyre, who is among 12 Scots in the field for the $5 million pro-am. “I've been looking at stats for the last kind of five weeks and obviously I've seen a trend, what was happening.

“It was looking good, but getting results is a different story and to finally see some good performances is always a bonus.”

MacIntyre looks as though he’s a lot leaner than when he was crowned as the Rookie of the Year in 2018. “My weight's not shifted in the last kind of year, but I'm putting in more effort,” he replied to that suggestion with a smile.

“I built a gym and everything at home, a simulator, all the works, back at home. It's a habit you've got to change, and I can't change it on the road without changing it at home. Started doing gym work at home, and then just try to do it twice a week on the road.

“Sitting on your backside at home, you eat sweets and do that kind of stuff. But it's an hour out of my day that I can go and do some gym work and just clear my head.”

He still treats himself to the odd Tunnocks Tea Cake, admitting: “I had two last night, and I had a little custard doughnut out on the golf course today. So I'm not a lean, mean fighting machine (laughing).”

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