Credit: Visit Abu Dhabi via Flickr

Robert MacIntyre’s Cyprus Showdown win: just a hint of what is to come

By Michael McLaughlin

Oban born golfer Robert MacIntyre makes headlines as he claims his first European Tour victory at the Cyprus Showdown.

Scotsman Robert MacIntyre became a European Tour winner for the first time by claiming first place in the Cyprus Showdown back in November at the Aphrodite Hills Resort in Paphos. The 24-year-old birdied four of his last six holes to card a final round of 64 (-7), finishing one shot ahead of Masahiro Kawamura from Japan. The closing stretch of his round brought out some impressive golf under the pressure of attempting to win his first event in 45 starts on Tour. Having driven into the bunker on the right side of the 16th fairway, only just short of the out of bounds beyond that, MacIntyre battled with an awkward stance to land his approach on the green, 30 feet from the hole. Two putts saved his par. Then came a moment of genius as his tee shot on the par 3 17th finished inches from the hole, guaranteeing a birdie. After hitting the green in two on the par 5 18th, two putts secured another birdie and a win for the man from Oban. His win managed to put him into the top 25 of the Race to Dubai and takes him to a career high 61st in the Official World Golf Ranking.

It was only a matter of time before MacIntyre would reach the winners’ circle. His promise has been clear to see since his junior years. Growing up in Oban, playing his golf at Glencruitten Golf Club, he won the Scottish Boys’ Open at The Roxburghe in 2013 and followed by the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters in 2014. He represented Great Britain and Ireland in the 2017 Walker Cup at the Los Angeles Country Club and turned professional soon after. A solid first season on the European Tour last season won him Rookie of the Year as he finished in 11th place in the Race to Dubai. He has previously finished in the top 10 nine times, including a tie for sixth at last year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush. MacIntyre’s win in Cyprus was reached having played in only 45 events. Fellow Scot, Colin Montgomerie, didn’t win a tournament on the European Tour until his 57th start at the Portuguese Open in 1989. He went on from there to establish a stellar career which included 31 European Tour wins and eight appearances representing Europe in the Ryder Cup. 

Robert MacIntyre keeps himself grounded. Although many stars of the British game have relocated to the Florida sunshine, MacIntyre has openly stated that he would never consider moving away from his hometown Oban. He is well-liked by many of his fellow competitors and his humility shines through whenever he speaks.

For all that humility, however, there’s no reason why MacIntyre cannot emulate Montgomerie as one of the best Scottish golfers in recent times. Backed up by a promising set of results in his early professional career, further achievements such as qualifying to represent Europe in the Ryder Cup ought to be well within reach. Qualification for team Europe is suspended at the moment, due to the rescheduling of the European Tour in light of the coronavirus pandemic. However, at present, he sits in 12th place in the rankings, and with the selection process opening up again at the start of 2021, he will be looking to add to recent form to force his way into the team. Even without automatic qualification, MacIntyre’s talent and personable character will make him an attractive candidate as one of Padraig Harrington’s six discretionary selections as team captain. Beyond representing Europe, MacIntyre will be looking to further his individual career. More success on the European Tour seems probable and having finished in the top 10 at last year’s Open Championship, it might not be long before he’s lifting the Claret Jug himself.

While still young, Robert MacIntyre has shown a great deal of promise. He has spoken openly about removing the notion of winning from his mind and just focusing on playing golf. This mindset, combined with hours of hard work, has brought him the success he now enjoys. He has an immense talent which will undoubtedly lead to greater achievements in the future and, for Scottish golf, he is an exciting prospect to one day become our first major winner for over 20 years.


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