Bob MacIntyre pulls out of Abu Dhabi event due to hand injury

Bob MacIntyre has decided to delay the start of his 2020 season due to a niggling hand injury
Bob MacIntyre has decided to delay the start of his 2020 season due to a niggling hand injury
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Bob MacIntyre, the Scottish No 1, has withdrawn from this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship due to a niggling hand injury.

The 23-year-old made the decision this morning after feeling he is not ready yet to make his first appearance of the 2020 season on the European Tour.

"Really disappointed to have to pull out this week," wrote MacIntyre, last season's Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year, on Twitter.

"But I need another week to get myself back to full fitness before launching my 2020 campaign."

The left-hander from Oban, who had been set to be among nine Scots in the Rolex Series tournament at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, added: "This is a great event, so it's frustrating to miss out this year."

The hand problem flared up towards the end of last season as MacIntyre, who recorded seven top-10 finishes during a brilliant campaign, battled it out with American Kurt Kitayama for the Rookie of the Year title.

He had been hoping that a complete six-week shutdown since the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November would clear it up once and for all.

But, after continuing to feel hindered by the problem in his preparation for the new campaign over the past few days, the former Scottish Amateur champion has decided to play it safe.

“I’ve done everything I can to let it heal and now it is just a matter of time to see how it is and we will take it from there," MacIntyre said in an interview with The Scotsman last week before heading out to the UAE.

"If it’s better, then perfect. If not, we have got to sit down and think about what is going to solve the problem once and for all.”

He is staying on in the Middle East in the hope he can be fully for next week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic then the Saudi International the week after that.

On the back of his sensational first season on the circuit, MacIntyre is one of the promising youngsters on European captain Padraig Harrington's radar for this year's Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin.

In fact, he was scheduled to play with Robert Karlsson, Harrington's vice captain, along with Norwegian Viktor Hovland in the opening two rounds this week.

Pole Adrian Meronk is now in that group following MacIntyre's withdrawal, which leaves Stephen Gallacher, David Law, Paul Lawrie, David Drysdale, Richie Ramsay, Scott Jamieson, Grant Forrest and Calum Hill flying the Saltire.