Bob MacIntyre turns to beloved shinty again to 'clear mind' for US Open

Bob MacIntyre may be planning an early rise out in California on Monday to enjoy a football fix when Scotland open against the Czech Republic in Euro2020, but he’s been using his beloved shinty again to help clear his mind for golfing matters.

Bob MacIntyre in action during last year's US Open at Winged Foot. He is now preparing for the 2021 edition at Torrey Pines next week. Picture: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images.

Two years ago after his head became a bit scrambled following a missed cut in Morocco on the back of rounds of 77-78, MacIntyre utilised some time at home in Oban to swap a golf club for a caman and play some shinty with his pals.

At the end of that season, which saw him crowned as European Tour Rookie of the Year, MacIntyre admitted that a bus journey back from a game had made him “realise what life was all about”.

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Having since broken into the world’s top 50, even the odd eyebrow was raised in shinty strongholds when the 24-year-old was recently spotted back swinging that caman, but it was for exactly the same reason.

MacIntyre returned home from his latest outing in Denmark feeling a little bit exasperated and decided there was only one way to get that out of his system before returning to action in next week’s US Open at Torrey Pines in California.

“It’s no secret I still go to training and whatnot,” he said. “It’s been part of my life since I watched my dad (Dougie, a Camanachd Cup winner with Oban Camanachd) growing up.

“It helped me massively two years ago after Morocco and it still helps me clear my mind and spend time with my pals again, which is the main thing.”

MacIntyre, who will be flying the Saltire along with Martin Laird in the season’s third major starting next Thursday outside San Diego, seemed to be unhappy at the weekend about someone not appearing to like how he goes about his business.

“It’s fine getting hate mail or messages in life about my golf,” he wrote in a post on Twitter. Using the hashtags #dontlikeit and #dontwatchit, he added: “Sending a letter to my old man is the next step up.”

Asked about that, the Cyprus Showdown champion played it down, saying: “You get those kinds of things and I was laughing at it more than anything.” He certainly has no plans to do things differently, no matter what anyone thinks about him.

“Yip, I will never change,” he said of being someone who wears his heart on his sleeve. “It’s the way I am, the way I have been brought up and I will keep doing what I am doing.”

MacIntyre, who enjoyed taking part in the Scotland squad announcement for Euro2020 on social media, will be on Pacific Coast time, which is eight hours behind, when Steve Clarke’s side kick-off their campaign at 2pm UK time against the Czech Republic at Hampden on Monday.

“Aye, I’ll definitely be watching them,” he said, smiling. “I’m sure I’ll be awake by then, anyway, with the time difference, so I’m going to try.

‘Obviously my main priority is to prepare for a golf tournament, but it’s on Monday and, if I can watch the football, then I’m sure I’ll be watching it. And then I’ve got to hope for a good tee time on Friday, for the Wembley game (against England)!”

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