'Impatient' Bob MacIntyre wants more wins, not just top-10 finishes
In his first outing in three weeks, the 24-year-old from Oban tied for eighth behind first-time European Tour winner Richard Bland at The Belfry but had been looking for better after sharing the lead in the final round following a “hot start” with two birdies in three holes.
“It was what I was looking for on my return,” admitted MacIntyre of using an event hosted by Danny Willett to shake off any rust heading into the season’ second major at Kiawah Island.
“But it is going to take the journey over to the States to reflect on it as I was disappointed not to put up more of a challenge in the end.”
Rory McIlroy often talks about how difficult it is to actually get over the winning line, having done so for the first time in more than 550 days last weekend when he landed a third Wells Fargo Championship.
“It’s not easy at all,” said McIntyre, who finished second on three occasions in 2019 before claiming his maiden victory on the European circuit in the Cyprus Showdown last November, in expressing agreement.
“I’m impatient with everything. I want it to happen every time I’m in with a chance. I just felt like today was a perfect chance.
“I knew I had to start hot and making two birdies in the first three holes was absolutely perfect.
“We keep saying momentum is a huge thing and seven (where his tee shot hit the bottom of the flag and rebounded off the green) stalled it on this occasion.”
On his last trip to the US, MacIntyre made American fans sit up and take notice as he topped a group that included world No 1 Dustin Johnson in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play then tied for 12th on his Masters debut
“Massively,” he said of the confidence those level of performances had instilled in him. “And it’s not often I go out there playing well. Normally, I turn up there and I’ve not played a tournament in three weeks.
“Now I’ve finally got confidence to take into an event rather than starting out fresh. I’ve got some momentum, just need to tweak a few things within the bag and then, yeah, we will be good to go to try and put in another good performance.
“My iron play is as good as it has been. As Davy (Burns, his coach) would say, I am swinging it technically perfect for me. I wasn’t driving it as well as I wanted this week, still hit a lot of fairways, don’t get me wrong.
“It just wasn't my usual self being able to see the shots off the tee. It’s just a case of needing little tweaks with the club set up and I’m confident about having a good week next week.”
This will be MacIntyre’s fifth major appearance, having made the cut in all four to date and tied for sixth in the 2019 Open at Royal Portrush before producing that equally encouraging first-time effort at Augusta National in April.
“I know I can compete and I think that’s why I get so annoyed when I get in contention and not winning,” he said. “But the guys are so good out here that it’s hard to win.
“I’m looking forward to it (this week). I know quite a few guys out there now and I speak to them from time to time and I am sure I will do the same next week.
“I will spend some time with a few of them and play nine holes here and there, just enjoy myself again.”
McIlroy won by eight shots when Kiawah Island last staged the US PGA Championship in 2012, with MacIntyre having been warned to expect a tough test on his first visit to the South Carolina venue.
“It’s a monster (laughing),” he said of the chat he’d been hearing from fellow players during the British Masters. “But the tougher it is, the better it is for me. It makes it a fair test of golf when it is really tough.
“This week was a great test of golf. It really made you play golf rather than being allowed to hit it anywhere.
“Although I wasn’t driving it well, I was able to keep it within the tree lines and you were chipping it out sideways if you went in the trees. So this was a great test of golf before going out to Kiawah Island.”
Calum Hill, who finished alongside his fellow Scot at the Sutton Coldfield venue, after matching MacIntyre’s birdie at the last, narrowly missed out on a spot in this week’s event through the world rankings.
Meanwhile, Bland is hoping his breakthrough in his 478th start at the age of 48 will inspire 46-year-old David Drysdale to eventually land his first title triumph as well.
“Just keep going, they’re all good enough to win,” said Bland of his message to players chiselling away at the coalface. “I think David Drysdale is up there and he’s had a few close calls in the last couple of years,
“I think the one in Qatar (in a play-off in 2019), Jorge Campillo was holing everything he looked at and I’m sure David was thinking, ‘what have I got to do?’ But I’ve known David for donkeys years and we have a laugh about it.
"He’s a great guy and he’s more than good enough to win. Anyone who pegs it up on the European Tour these days is good enough to win.
“I’m sure he keeps going and as long as he stays fit and healthy then that win is going to come for him.”
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