No Mexican fiesta for Bob MacIntyre

Bob MacIntyre in action at the WGC-Mexico Championship last week. Photograph: Bounce Sports

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Oban’s Bob MacIntyre saw his hopes of contending in the World Golf Championship event in Mexico all but disappear on Thursday afternoon after opening his account with a five over par 76.

There were no signs of the drama to come after 12 holes of his opening round with the Oban star sitting nicely at level par only three shots behind the leaders.

However , a bogey and two double boges in the next five holes left Bob languishing near the foot of the leaderboard going into Friday and effectively killed his chances of gaining significant world ranking points.

Bob will, however, take some comfort from a solid display in the final three rounds with scores of 68, 70 and 69 which left him in a tie for 42nd spot on a total of one under par.

His final position looked like it would have been much higher after a magnificent eagle three at the 15th hole on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately, two holes later a double bogey six saw his week finish on a disappointing note.

The tournament was eventually won by American former Masters champion Patrick Reed with a score of 18 under par. Bob’s world ranking slipped one place to 67th.

Bob may have made his debut in Central America but the Scottish number one felt ‘comfortable’ teeing up in last week’s WGC-Mexico Championship.

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Bob enjoyed his first taste of WGC action in the HSBC Champions event towards the end of last year in Shanghai.

‘You’ve got to believe you are one of them,’ said Bob of lining up in a field that included world number one Rory McIlroy, third-ranked Jon Rahm and defending champion Dustin Johnson.

‘In Shanghai, I played with Kevin Kisner and Billy Horschel in the opening two rounds and I felt comfortable. I started with a double bogey, but after that I played well the whole week.

‘In these big events, it’s about meeting the guys more than anything so you can say hello to them and don’t feel alone in the locker-room and don’t belong here.

‘I’m starting to feel I do belong and that’s how you need to feel to give yourself the best opportunity to be competitive.’

Bob now has a week off having opted to miss this week’s tournament in Oman. He will then dust off the clubs for the Qatar Masters on March 5 before moving on to the Kenyan Open the following week.

Strong finishes in both tournaments will be needed to keep his US Masters qualification hopes alive.