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The Road to Ras Al Khaimah season-long rankings contest is a fiercely-fought journey across three continents for a place in the top 15, and European Tour graduation.
Coming through the ranks of the Challenge Tour in recent years have been some of golf’s most exciting young talents, including European Tour winners Jordan Smith and Dylan Frittelli, while world stars such as Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Tommy Fleetwood all spent their formative years on Europe’s top development tour.
We can now add to that list Oban’s Robert MacIntyre, who earned his European Card after finishing 12th in the order of merit.
Three other Scots, Grant Forrest, Liam Johnston and David Law, also secured their European Tour card.
The final event of the Challenge Tour, held at the superb Al Hamra Golf Club in the United Aran Emirates, saw the Glencruitten golfer in 13th place in the rankings so Robert needed to stay in the top 15 to secure his European Tour card.
In the first round, he carded a one under par 71 with four birdies and three bogeys. He then proceeded to card a superb six under par 66 in round two with seven birdies and only one bogey.
The left-hander then had a level par 72 in round three which featured four birdies and four bogeys. In the final round, he birdied four holes and bogeyed only one for a three under par 69 and a four round total of 278 – 10 under par – to finish in joint sixth place which meant he jumped to 12th place in the rankings and secure his European Tour place for next season.
Robert played 25 Challenge Tour events, being pipped in play-offs at both the Finnish and Foshan opens.
Robert said: ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better first season as a professional. Graduating from the Challenge tour means so much to everyone in my team.
‘The hard work from everyone in the team is the only way these things can happen. They believed in me when I started to doubt myself.
‘I have tried my best to get back to everyone who has messaged me with congratulations. I can’t thank everyone enough for there help and support. Big thanks go to Glencruitten golf club for their help over the years, also to my caddie Greg Milne and coach David Burns.
‘Last, but not least, my family, it’s a dream come true and a huge team effort since the start of this journey. Let’s make 2019 season even better.’
Congratulations from everyone in Oban goes to Robert for a tremendous achievement.