Bob MacIntyre set for run of big events in US thanks to world top-50 spot
The 24-year-old heads off on Saturday to get himself acclimatised for next week’s World Golf Championship at The Concession in Florida, his place in the $10.5 million event having been confirmed on the strength of sitting 43rd in the latest world rankings update.
MacIntyre, who landed his European Tour breakthrough in the Cyprus Showdown in November, is also virtually guaranteed to get in the second WGC of the year, the Dell Technologies Match Play in Austin, Texas, towards the end of next month.
In between those two events, the left-hander from Oban is also set to make his debut in The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Florida, with other doors potentially having been opened as well.
He has entered the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which takes place at Bay Hill in Orlando the week before The Players, with the Honda Classic also on his radar the week after that $15 million event.
The run of big tournaments gives McIntyre an excellent chance of extending the trip to seven weeks in total by securing his debut in the Masters in early April.
It will be mission accomplished as far as that goal is concerned if he can retain his place in the top 50 on 29 March - the day after the WGC Match Play.
“We are taking Bob’s schedule in pockets and this one will take us up to the Masters,” said his manager, Iain Stoddart.
Referring to the opportunities in the US being a reward for MacIntyre breaking into the top 50 for the first time following his third-place finish in last month’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, he added: “It’s coming to fruition and it’s actually come at a reasonable time as you are trying to blend the season.
“We talk about a ‘Tommy Schedule’ ie how Tommy Fleetwood does it, which is combining the two tours. At the moment, it’s an easy fit to go to America for this spell because of the way the European Tour schedule is.”
The European circuit has gone into a break following the three-event Middle East Swing, with the Qatar Masters and a new double-header in Kenya next up but not until next month.
MacIntyre is free to travel to the US despite the current Covid-19 restrictions under a waiver provided by Homeland Security in the US, having already used that to play in both the US PGA Championship and US Open last year, as well as the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.
The players eligible for next week’s WGC, which had been due to be staged in Mexico before being switched to Florida due to the Covid-19 pandemic, also includes Tiger Woods after he stayed just inside the top 50.
Woods is currently 48th in the rankings, having not played competitively since December after having a fifth back procedure following his appearance alongside son Charlie in the PNC Championship.
The 15-time major winner will now have to decide if he is ready physically to return next week, having decided to sit out this week’s Genesis Invitational, which he hosts at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles.
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