Euan McIntosh has taken his Scotland snub for the upcoming World Amateur Team Championship on the chin, insisting he is happy to see three players a lot younger than him flying the Saltire at Carton House in Ireland.
Speaking as he prepared to try to maintain a remarkable recent run of form in the Carrick Neill Scottish Open Stroke Play Championship at Gleneagles, the 49-year-old also said he will have no problems pulling on the dark blue colours instead in the Home Internationals in Wales later in year.
There has been widespread outcry since it emerged that McIntosh had been overlooked for the Eisenhower Trophy event despite producing a polished performance to win the Scottish Amateur Championship at Blairgowrie then adding the Amateur Gold Medal at Leven and North-East District Open at Aboyne on successive weekends.
“Still the same nonsense re selection happening more than 20 years since I was playing,” wrote Michael Brooks, a former Walker Cup player who won the Scottish Amateur himself at Dunbar in 1996, on Twitter of Euan Walker and Sandy Scott being picked ahead of McIntosh to join forces with Ryan Lumsden, who qualified automatically as the top Scot on the World Amateur Golf Rankings. “Shambles, a weakened team without Euan.”
On current form, there can be no denying that but, as the Turnhouse man turned his attention to trying to make it four triumphs in a row in an event being held over the King’s Course for the first time, McIntosh said that as far he was concerned he doesn’t necessarily feel hard done by.
“I don’t think I was in the equation, to be honest, before I won the Scottish Amateur,” McIntosh, pictured, who is preparing for a second crack as a professional when he turns 50 next year, told The Scotsman. “I was fifth/sixth to get in that team before Blairgowrie. When you win the Scottish then follow it up, people are obviously going to be saying, ‘he should be in the team’.
“But I also think young guys should get a chance as well and, when I found out I wasn’t in the team, I just said, ‘okay, that’s it’. Honestly, the moment the phone went down, that was it for me and I have no complaints about it. That’s just the way it is. I hope they do really well because they were all team-mates at the European Team Championship earlier in the year.”
As the national champion, McIntosh is guaranteed a spot in the team for the Home Internationals, which are taking place this year at Conwy, and he added: “I can’t wait for that event. The last time I played at Nairn two years ago I was really looking forward to it. But I had played a lot of golf leading into that and I felt my game was just starting to go off the boil.
“The weather was also tough and, unfortunately, I just didn’t have my best stuff that week. I’m hoping to put that right this year. I want to do well for the team. I think a lot of them were counting on me to get a few points the last time and I didn’t do it.”
Irishman Robin Dawson, the world No 10, is the highest-ranked player in the line-up in Perthshire, where he is being joined by Conor Purcell, who is also set to represent the home nation in the World Amateur Team Championship. In an event won last year by Liam Johnston before his successful switch to the paid ranks, Ayrshireman Walker is the highest-ranked Scot in the field due to Lumsden missing out due to US college commitments along with Scott.
“I can’t wait,” said McIntosh of his latest test, having already all but secured a second Scottish Order of Merit title triumph in three years with his recent purple patch, which he acknowledges has been helped by the influence of his coach, Colin Brooks. “How can you not enjoy playing golf at Gleneagles? It will be fantastic and I’m looking forward to it being on the King’s Course. It’s not like these stadium-style courses where you’ve just got to smash it. You’ve got to think a bit more on a course like that.
“When you go into these big tournaments with guys who are going to be European Tour players, you can play well yet finish tenth to 15th. The big guy Robin Dawson, for instance, is a great player. There’s a lot of class in the field, but it’s good for me to play against these guys. It is brilliant, in fact.”