'He was just Bob' says Shane Lowry as he joins chorus of praise for MacIntyre
Though unable to prevent Great Britain and Ireland losing 14.5-10.5 to Continental Europe at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, MacIntyre won three points out of four to be the top performer on his team along with captain Tommy Fleetwood.
The Oban man earned gushing praise from European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald for both his performance in the new contest and also how he gelled with his team-mates, including 2019 Open champion Lowry.
Speaking as the attention turned to this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links, the Irishman also admitted that MacIntyre, having already won the Italian Open on the Ryder Cup course last year, has genuine credentials to be part of a team that will be bidding to win back the trophy in September.
“I can only speak for the GB&I team,” said Lowry, who made his debut against the Americans in the 2021 defeat at Whistling Straits, in reply to being asked about the star performers in the Hero Cup, which was orchestrated by Donald to help European players prepare for not only this Ryder Cup but future matches, too.
“I got to see what some of the lads are like in there. Obviously I think Bob stood out. Look, I think we all know what Bob stands for and what he's like. He was just Bob. He was just himself last week and that's all he needs to be. I think with some patience and some hard work, he'll get to where he wants to get in September.
“I think he stood out by his performance last week more than anything else, and, in the team room, he was pretty good as well because he's just a good lad. He was just himself. He was nothing else. He wasn't doing anything different.
“But, yeah, his performance, look, if you've got an eight-footer on the last hole to win a match, there's probably not many people you want to have there other than him. He'd be on the short list, anyway. So, hopefully, he can keep performing well over the year and, hopefully, he's there as well (at Marco Simone Golf Club).”
After delivering wins alongside both Seamus Power and Jordan Smith on the opening two days, MacIntyre then beat Alex Noren, a member of the winning Ryder Cup team in France, 5&3 in the concluding singles.
Adding his voice to a chorus of praise for the left-hander, Fleetwood said: “I texted Bob throughout the week a couple of times and I was very clear about how well he was playing and how important he was for the team.
“For instance, I played him at the back end all week. I've experienced that position and it's a very difficult to be in because what you do, it has a massive effect on how the day finishes and going into the next day. You're also likely to be the only one out on the golf course at the end. And I have a lot of faith in Bob and his personality and character to do that.”
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