Bob hopes to be back in the swing at Desert Classic

Bob MacIntyre. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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After last week’s disappointment at having to withdraw from his season opening tournament in Abu Dhabi. Oban’s Bob MacIntyre will be hoping his hand injury has healed sufficiently to tee it up in the Dubai Desert Classic which begins today (Thursday).

Injury permitting, he will be up against another strong field including Open Champions Shane Lowry, Henrik Stenson and Louis Oosthuizen as well as past Masters winners Sergio Garcia and Danny Willett.

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While missing out last week was undoubtedly a blow to Bob’s chances of getting into the world’s top 50 and qualify for the Masters, he will take comfort from seeing Abu Dhabi winner Lee Westwood rocket up the world rankings to number 29. Westwood was only two places above Bob at 63 in the world before last week’s tournament. Bob’s absence means he drops two places in the rankings, but a strong finish this week should see him move back up.

After the Dubai tournament, the tour moves on to Saudi Arabia.

He will also have one eye on the first World Golf Championship event of the year in Mexico on February 20 where there is not only huge prize money on offer but significant world ranking points up for grabs.