What puts golf into perspective for Bob MacIntyre - 'it’s heartbreaking when you actually see it up close'

Scot shows support for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation in Genesis Scottish Open Pro Am

Forget his own heartbreak in last year’s Genesis Scottish Open. Back at The Renaissance Club, where he was denied by a brilliant birdie-birdie finish by Rory McIlroy 12 months ago, Bob MacIntyre discovered what real heartbreak is and admitted that himself.

Playing in the pro-am with actor Dougray Scott, former Scotland rugby player Rob Wainwright and current Ayr United manager Scott Brown, the quartet donned My Name’5 Doddie Foundation hats during their round to show support for the charity that was launched after Doddie Weir revealed he was suffering from Motor Neuron Disease, a condition that claimed his life in 2022 at the age of 52.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The Doddie Weir Foundation has been on my bag for a few years now,” said MacIntyre, speaking afterwards in the Media Centre for this week’s $9 million Rolex Series event, of his personal support for the charity on a week-to-week basis. “I’ll never forget a couple of videos Doddie sent me and it hit me close. Obviously, Doddie passed away, but there are a lot of people still fighting and will continue to fight MND.”

Bob MacIntyre pictured with Scott Stewart, who is suffering from MND, following the Genesis Scottish Open Pro-Am at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.Bob MacIntyre pictured with Scott Stewart, who is suffering from MND, following the Genesis Scottish Open Pro-Am at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre pictured with Scott Stewart, who is suffering from MND, following the Genesis Scottish Open Pro-Am at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

Scott Stewart being one such person, the 41-year-old, who hails from Campbeltown, having been diagnosed with the condition last March and now suffering as Scottish rugby legend Weir did and also Rob Burrow, the former rugby league player who passed away last month. With the aid of a motor scooter, golf-mad Stewart made it out onto the course to support MacIntyre’s pro-am team for a few holes while Rory McIlroy, playing in the group behind, also helped make his day special by breaking off from his round to greet the former Liberton club champion. “It hits you when you meet someone like Scott, absolutely,” admitted McIlroy, with MacIntyre expressing the same sentiment.

“It’s heartbreaking when you actually see it up close,” said the Oban man. “Obviously, my parents do fostering and I see that kind of heartbreak, but this is a different kind of heartbreak. He’s speaking to you as a normal guy, and he’s going through one of the worst things I could ever imagine. I hate seeing it, but as much as I can support it, I will. Wearing a hat is not going to change it, but it hopefully raises more awareness and take baby steps closer to finding a cure for a horrible disease.”

MacIntyre himself was still taking baby steps in professional golf when he found himself paired with McIlroy and Rickie Fowler in the opening two rounds of his Scottish Open debut in 2019 at this week’s venue. “Yeah, I was nervous - could hardly tee the ball up, to be honest,” he said, recalling that experience. Five years on, he’s out again with McIlroy in the first 36 holes - Viktor Hovland is the third member on this occasion - and, boy, does he deserve to be in that marquee group just a few days after being in the Royal Box at Wimbledon along with his winning Ryder Cup team-mates from Rome last year.

“When I got the invite, I was going to say no because it was this week,” admitted MacIntyre. “But, when I thought about it, I was like, this is potentially a once-in-a-lifetime experience of your life, and it was incredible.” As for the tennis, he added: “I knew it was fast, but it was literally front row, watching the men and women run about and I knew I had picked the right sport (laughing).”

Bob MacIntyre pictured with Genesis Scottish Pro-Am team partners Scott Brown, Rob Wainwright and Dougray Scott at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.Bob MacIntyre pictured with Genesis Scottish Pro-Am team partners Scott Brown, Rob Wainwright and Dougray Scott at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.
Bob MacIntyre pictured with Genesis Scottish Pro-Am team partners Scott Brown, Rob Wainwright and Dougray Scott at The Renaissance Club. Picture: Andrew Redington/Getty Images.

There’s no denying that, of course, and, though acknowledging that he might never get as close again as he did 12 months ago to pull off a fairytale win in his home Open, MacIntyre is heading into this week’s event feeling good about his game and also his mindset.

“As I said to Mike [Burrow, his caddie] out there, this is probably the most calm I've been. It's not been as frantic,” said the left-hander. “Things have been under control. Yeah, my game has been up-and-down, but it's been up-and-down my whole golfing life. This is the one that as a Scot, I really want. But there's so much that goes into actually winning. I've just got to try and play it as another event and give it my absolute best, which I will do.

“If it's not a major championship, this is the one I want. The Scottish Open, I've watched it since I was a young boy at Loch Lomond. The Scottish Open is the one. There's no other golf tournament, I would say, other than the major championships that would overtake this one.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

A number of young Scots will hopefully have the same desire in years to come after organisers introduced an opportunity on pro-am day for kids in the crowd to share the experience of walking up what is the short sixth hole this week at the East Lothian venue and then attempt a putt in the team scramble format.

“I think it's great for people to see or get a small snippet, a couple of questions in. I think it's a great idea,” said MacIntyre, who is being joined in flying the Saltire by Ewen Ferguson, Richie Ramsay, Connor Syme, Calum Hill, Grant Forrest, David Law and Scott Jamieson. “Just for me, it brings you back into life. Like I'm just a normal human.

“Yeah, I play golf for a living. I worked hard and people sacrifice a lot, but at the end of the day, we're just human beings and the young guy there, he was a 25 handicap for a 15-year-old, you never know what he's going to do in his life. Whether it's working a trade or, you know, a sportsman, just try and speak to them as normal people that they are.”

Comments

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.