Children help MacIntyre foster calm state of mind

Picture the scene. Bob MacIntyre knows a place in the 148th Open Championship is on the line and, to keep himself calm, he closes his eyes for a brief moment and thinks about home in Oban and, in particular, two foster kids, writes Martin Dempster.

Robert MacIntyre thinks of home to keep calm.

“In Germany,” he said, referring to last month’s BMW International Open, “I knew I needed a birdie on 18 and was standing waiting for the green to clear, ready to play my second shot from the perfect spot. I just went out of the way of it and thought about completely different things which, for me, means the kids.”

Thomas, 12, and Dan, five, have been fostered by MacIntyre’s parents, Dougie and Carol. They are the second set of foster children to be welcomed into the family home, which looks on to Glencruitten Golf Club, and the rising star of Scottish golf loves spending time with them.

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“That’s where I feel as though I’m free, when I’m thinking about looking after the boys and playing with them,” added the 22-year-old, who did indeed birdie that hole to secure his major debut this week off the Race to Dubai rankings at the end of the event in Munich.

“They love what I’m doing with the golf. Thomas knows all about it. Dan – Dan the man – is only five and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. He just loved being in the crèche at Hillside [venue for the British Masters in May], running about, causing Stoddy [MacIntyre’s manager, Iain Stoddart] mayhem! He’s trying to get into the golf but doesn’t know much yet.”

MacIntyre, pictured below, has already earned just under £700,000 in his rookie season on the European Tour and was paired with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler in the first two rounds of last week’s Scottish Open.

His feet are firmly on the ground, though, through his experience of fostering.

“It’s huge. And they’re the lucky ones who have been helped through the system,” he said. “My mum was the main one who wanted to foster. I did think: “Right, what are we actually trying to do here?” But, once we put everything into perspective, I realised it was about helping kids who are less privileged, needing a bit of support.”