Bob MacIntyre: Ryder Cup is my only goal for next year after Italian Open win

Bob MacIntyre is determined to use his DS Automobiles Italian Open win as a springboard to be back at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome for next year’s Ryder Cup.

Bob MacIntyre with the trophy after winning the DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre with the trophy after winning the DS Automobiles Italian Open at Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The Oban man set his sights on making Luke Donald’s European team after beating US Open champion Matthew Fitzpatrick in a play-off to land his second DP World Tour title.

The win left MacIntyre sitting third behind Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy on the European Ryder Cup points list after the first two qualifying events.

“It's my main goal, my only goal for the next year,” admitted MacIntyre, who narrowly missed out on being on the side led by Padraig Harrington for last year’s match at Whistling Straits.

Matthew Fitzpatrick congratulates Bob MacIntyre after his play-off win at the 2023 Ryder Cup venue. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

The 26-year-old’s success came hot on the wheels of him being hailed as the “future of the European Ryder Cup team” along with the Hojgaard twins - Nicolai and Rasmus - by Rory McIlroy.

“I've done it on the golf course,” added MacIntyre of the venue for the 2023 edition against an American side that will be captained by former Open champion Zach Johnson.

“Look, at the start of this week, I didn't think this was going to be the one, the style of golf course, the way it was playing. But we worked on a few things on Tuesday and Wednesday and I felt so in control of my golf ball this week with wedges and irons and even the hybrid that went into the bag last week.”

The win, which was worth just under £450,000, lifted MacIntyre up to 15th from 73rd in the DP World Tour Rankings. He’s also set to move to around 80th from 110th in the updated Official World Rankings.

The left-hander is the sixth Scot to win the Italian Open, joining Dean Robertson (1999), Sam Torrance (1987 and 1995), Sandy Lyle (1984 and 1992), Brian Barnes (1979) and Norman Wood (1972.).

MacIntyre raced to the turn in 29 to move into the lead before finding himself trailing overnight leader Fitzpatrick again after the Englishman eagled the 12th around the same time as the Scot was dropping back-to-back shots at the 14th and 15th.

“I’ve just got a dogged attitude, never give up. If I get punched, I punch back,” said MacIntyre of eventually coming out on top.

The left-hander made his DP World Tour breakthrough in the 2020 Cyprus Showdown, but, on this occasion, he beat a much stronger field, which also included FedEx Cup winner McIlroy and world No 10 Viktor Hovland.

“I've not won many 72-hole golf tournaments, even as an amateur,” he said. “I was always just falling short and I was getting uncomfortable.

"But, as I've been told many, many times, it's okay to be uncomfortable. You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Just embrace it.”

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