Bob MacIntyre set to be at 'full throttle' after getting green light for Dubai Desert Classic debut

Bob MacIntyre will be among nine Scots teeing up in this week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Bob MacIntyre will be among nine Scots teeing up in this week's Omega Dubai Desert Classic
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Bob MacIntyre would be sitting on the couch at home in Oban if he didn't feel he could be at "full throttle" on his debut in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic this week.

The 23-year-old will be teeing up in Thursday's opening round at Emirates Golf Club after feeling no pain whatsoever in his left hand over the past couple of days in preparation for the $3.5 million event.

The niggling problem had forced MacIntyre, the 2019 European Tour Rookie of the Year, to withdraw from last week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and sit with his feet up in Dubai for a few days.

But it is all systems go after he backed up playing six holes on the Majlis Course on Tuesday by successfully negotiating his first 18 holes since the end of November in the pro-am on Wednesday.

"I'm feeling good," said MacIntyre, speaking afterwards in the media centre at the UAE venue, where two of his compatriots, Stephen Gallacher, twice, and Colin Montgomerie, both tasted victory.

"I've had a bit of rest, to say the least. I was hoping it was going to be last week to start my new season, but things happen for a reason and it's good to get going this week."

With the TaylorMade's new driver in his big, MacIntyre ripped a 325-yard drive down the 18th, leaving himself just 194 yards to the pin with a 6-iron.

The impressive effort was 51 yards past the plaque on the fairway marking the spot from where Colin Montgomerie hit a driver off the deck to win the European Tour Shot of the Year in 1996.

"That was one of the good ones," he said, smiling. "My big test, though, was hitting shots that were hurting me on the chipping green and I had done that on Monday night and Tuesday morning.

"The next test was going to be hitting out of the rough. I had to test it. If it hurt, I wasn't going to play, and I just had to accept it. I just had to go for it, so I went in the deep end and it's been grand."

MacIntyre joins seven other Scots in the field, the others being Gallacher, Paul Lawrie, David Law, David Drysdale, Scott Jamieson, Richie Ramsay and Grant Forrest.

"I'm not here just to make up the numbers," said the left-hander, who recorded seven top-10 finishes last year to end up 13th in the Race to Dubai.

"If I played last week, I was going to finish close to last. It's as simple as that. I couldn't compete. Whereas this week, I feel that I can go out there and give it enough go."I just needed more time. I felt last week my speed was down, hitting bad shots I wouldn't normally hit. This week, I feel my speed's back and, if I've got that, I'm using my driving to my advantage."

The former Scottish Amateur champion, who has been taking painkillers since last year's Open Championship at Royal Portrush, has strapping on his left wrist but says that is more psychological than anything else.

"If I go here this week and worry about a sore hand, which could happen, then I'm as well back home in Oban and sit on the couch.

"I'm just going out there, playing golf at full throttle as I normally do and see how we're going."