Sports review of 2019: Bob MacIntyre lights up Scottish golf

Oban's Bob MacIntyre won Rookie of the Year on the European Tour. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
Oban's Bob MacIntyre won Rookie of the Year on the European Tour. Picture: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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Not since the halcyon days of Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle, Bernard Gallacher
and Colin Montgomerie has a Scottish golfer set tongues wagging on the European Tour like Bob MacIntyre did this
 year.

Seven top-10 finishes, including a tie for sixth on his major championship debut in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush, helped the left-hander from Oban claim the circuit’s coveted Rookie of the Year award.

He’s the first Scot to achieve that feat since Marc Warren in 2006 and it was a measure of MacIntyre’s consistency that he secured an honour named after Sir Henry Cotton ahead of two double winners, American Kurt Kitayama and Italian Guido Migliozzi.

The one niggling frustration for MacIntyre, who graduated from the Challenge Tour along with three other Scots, at the end of his first campaign on the top tour is that he is still waiting to land his maiden win.

However, three second-placed finishes, in the Betfred British Masters, Made in Denmark and Porsche European Open, suggest that may not be long in coming once he gets back down to business in 2020 after a well-deserved break that was also required to give him a chance to rest a niggling wrist injury.

From the moment he played with a couple of major winners, Ernie Els and Charl Schwartzel, early on in the season, the 23-year-old felt comfortable in his new working environment, taking everything in his stride and impressing some of the biggest names in the game in the 
process.

“He has a brilliant journey ahead of him,” predicted Olympic champion Justin Rose, pictured, after partnering MacIntyre in his final round of the season in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

The sky looks the limit for MacIntyre, who is close to breaking into the world’s top 50 and is one of the names on a list of promising young players being monitored by European captain Padraig Harrington for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

MacIntyre’s engaging personality is every bit as impressive as his golf and there’s no chance of him ever getting too big for his boots as a great group of people around him, led by mum and dad Carol and Dougie, will see to that – and he knows it!