Why Bob MacIntyre can learn so much from Martin Laird and Russell Knox on PGA Tour
I’d be rich if I had been paid even just a quid for every time I’ve heard it said in golf over the years: “You Scots always stick together!”
It’s been uttered about players, caddies and also the media and, in all cases, that can’t be denied.
For some reason, we do tend to be a close-knit bunch when it comes to the Royal & Ancient game and that has been illustrated once again this week.
It’s not the first time that the trio have spent time together thousands of miles from their respective homes on the PGA Tour and there can be no denying that it’s hugely beneficial for MacIntyre.
Put it this way, whereas the 25-year-old from Oban is still learning the ropes on the US circuit, his fellow Scots are seasoned campaigners and know exactly what everything over there is about.
Laird, 39, is clocking up his 333rd PGA Tour appearance this week while it’s No 253 for 36-year-old Knox, who also currently sits on the circuit’s Player Advisory Council.
Both have also enjoyed success. Helped by four title triumphs, including the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2011, Laird’s career earnings now stand at more than $20 million.
Knox, who has a World Golf Championship to his name and also a regular PGA Tour title, is nudging towards the $16 million mark.
MacIntyre has already won close to £1m in official earnings in just 18 events on the strongest tour in the game, but he has still to earn his stripes.
Unlike Laird and Knox, he doesn’t yet hold a PGA Tour card, with his appearance alongside them in this week’s $12 million event being made through a sponsor’s exemption.
MacIntyre was criticised by some, including Padraig Harrington, for playing in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals last year instead of returning home and trying to secure automatic qualification for the Ryder Cup.
Yes, of course, he wants to play in that event one day, but his decision was based on wanting to have a seat at golf’s table in order to become a better player.
It’s ironic, of course, that, in such a short space of time, MacIntyre has already fared better in the majors than either Laird or Knox, having recorded back-to-back top-10 finishes in The Open and a tie for 12th at The Masters.
That is a clear indication of the talent he possesses, but, at the same time, MacIntyre knows better than anyone that he is still wet behind the ears and time spent with the likes of Laird and Knox, especially as far as the PGA Tour is concerned, is worth its weight in gold.
MacIntyre has also struck up friendships with Patrick Reed and Billy Horschel, picking their brains, too, whenever he gets the chance because it’s all about learning when you are in your 20s.
And, make no mistake, Scotland has two outstanding role models in Laird and Knox when it comes to anyone trying to live golf’s American dream.
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