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Robert (Bob) MacIntyre capped a brilliant fortnight’s golf on the European Tour by securing the first victory of his short career in the Cyprus Challenge at the stunning Aphrodite Hills resort.
Following last week’s third place finish on the same course the Oban star went into the tournament as one of the favourites and after an opening round of 65, it was easy to see why.
However, the best was yet to come and after comfortably qualifying for Sunday with rounds of 68 and 67 his final day winning score of 64 was simply sensational.
After almost aceing the par 3 17th hole Bob knew he had to make birdie on the 18th to win the tournament. Speaking after his round, the Oban left-hander revealed that standing on the 18th tee he remembered his dad Dougie’s advice to ‘tee it high and let it fly’ and that is exactly what he did, launching a 345-yard monster straight down the centre of the fairway leaving himself a relatively comfortable 9-iron approach over the water to the green.
With all of Oban cheering him on in front of their television screens he hit a majestic approach shot to 20 feet, rolled the putt up close and tapped in for a winning birdie 4 to complete a back 9 of 30 which will live long in the memory of those who witnessed it.
Speaking immediately afterward to Sky Sports Tim Barter, Bob’s reaction was typically down to earth: ‘I cannae believe it. It is unbelievable. It’s what I’ve dreamed of as a wee kid watching Scottish Opens at Loch Lomond.’
‘This week’s format suited me and I took it. The 17th hole was huge, when I saw the scores.
‘I’ve done a lot of work in the last six months, not thinking about winning a golf tournament, just to play my golf. Last year, I was talking and thinking about winning golf tournaments when I was going down the back nine on a Sunday, but this year I’ve just tried to take my time and let it happen.
‘What will happen, will happen and it’s happened today.’
Bob, a stalwart supporter of Martin’s Monday Club, the Oban-based mental health support group, later revealed that he had struggled mentally with the impact of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown restrictions. He admitted: ‘I just struggled mentally from about eight to 10 weeks after lockdown, almost when it opened up slightly.
‘You felt you were getting released into the open but were still getting told what to do. That was tough for me.
‘It’s been a difficult few months for me, only my family know what’s going on.’
He then went on to pay tribute to his family and psychologist for helping him hugely during that time.
Following his exploits in Cyprus the bare statistics show Bob has jumped to 62nd in the world rankings, 24th in The Race to Dubai standings and pocketed just over £180k. What they don’t say is that Robert MacIntyre announced himself firmly on the world stage and did himself, his family and the whole of Oban proud.