Connor Syme savours 'cool' eagle-2 at The Belfry's 10th as Bob MacIntyre comes a cropper at iconic hole

Connor Syme and Bob MacIntyre had contrasting fortunes on the iconic tenth hole at The Belfry in the third round of the Betfred British Masters.

Syme admitted it had felt “cool” to make an eagle-2 on a day when the tee had been moved forward in a bid to tempt players to go for the green.

He was still smiling after going on to sign for a second successive 68, which moved him to six-under in an event being hosted for the second year running by Danny Willett at the Ryder Cup venue.

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“I just like mullered a 3-wood that was all over it and I just fancied the putt, to be fair,” said Syme of matching Sam Horsfield earlier in the day by starting for home with that special eagle.

Connor Syme plays his second shot to the 9th hole during the third round of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett at The Belfry. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

“It was just one of those little moments where you think, ‘it would be cool to make a 2 on this hole’. It was a big swinging left-to-righter from 30-odd feet and right in the middle.”

In the opening two rounds, especially at 298 yards on Friday, it had been a lay up, but not necessarily with it playing at 265 yards.

“You get there when the tee is up and you go, ‘it’s a 3-wood and maybe even a 7-wood’,” added Syme. “They’ve got it set up perfectly in terms of making you have a go at it.”

MacIntyre was four-under - one better than Syme had been - when he arrived on that tenth tee, but, in contrast to his compatriot, his experience proved painful.

Bob MacIntyre saves par from a bunker at the first in the third round of the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett at The Belfry. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Also deciding to go for the green, the left-hander found the bank on the left of the green and, with the ball well below his feet, plopped the second shot in the water, leading to a double-bogey 6.

The steam was coming out of MacIntyre’s ears as he twice slapped his glove against the leg of his trousers on his way off the green and it went from bad to worse.

He then ran up a triple-bogey 7 at the 11th and, almost in a flash, he’d dropped from almost being in the top 10 following two birdies in the first four holes to outside the leading 50.

The Oban man, who tied for eighth in this event at the same venue last year, eventually signed for a 76 - nine shots more than his effort on Friday, when he’d birdied five of the last six holes.

Having missed back-to-back cuts in Spain, Syme had been delighted to make it through to the weekend in the first event of the 2022 season on UK soil and an effort that also contained four birdies was another pleasing day’s work.

“I am pleased with that,” said the Fifer. “I putted well today. I missed a short one on 17, which was slightly disappointing. But, other than that, I really holed out well and my pace putting was generally good.

“Overall, pretty pleased, especially after starting with a bogey, which was frustrating. That was my only mistake, though I did bogey nine, but that’s going to happen out here even if you are just a few yards off the fairway and in a little trouble in the rough.”

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