Bob sizzles in Sandwich sun

Want to read more?

We value our content and access to our full site is only available with a  subscription. Your subscription entitles you to 7-day-a-week access to our website, plus a full digital copy of that week’s paper to read on your pc/mac or mobile device.  In addition, your subscription includes access to digital archive copies from 2006 onwards.

Just want to read one issue? No problem you can subscribe for just one week (or longer if you wish).

Already a subscriber?
Subscribe Now

As quotes goes, it probably sums up perfectly the refreshing attitude Oban’s Robert MacIntyre brings to the game of golf.

After a brilliant weekend saw him tie for eighth place in the Open, he declared: ‘My face may not show it yet, but once I reflect on this I’ll be absolutely delighted with the finish.’

And delighted he should be. As the sole Scot in the field, he had the entire nation chewing their finger nails on Friday when he held his nerve to hole a 10-foot putt to qualify for the weekend right on the cut line.

That putt may be the most important he will hole all season as it set him up for a turbo-charged weekend where rounds of 65 and 67 saw him race through the field and for one brief moment on Sunday afternoon fans harboured thoughts he might actually win the most famous trophy in golf.

Back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13 got him within three shots of the lead and, with the par five 14th to come, anything seemed possible.

Unfortunately a snap hook saw his ball crash out of bounds and the dream will have to wait for another year.

Bob said afterwards: ‘At 14, I wasn’t committed to the shot and I got punished for it.’

He went on to praise his caddie Mike Thomson for helping him recover and stop him from ‘exploding’ and, despite dropping a shot, he recovered to finish with four pars to secure his second top-10 finish in only two appearances at the Open.

Afterwards Bob was in no mood to rest on his laurels. ‘I want to win one of these,’ he said. ‘I feel I’ve got the game to win an Open. I’m yet to show it, but I’m young and I’ve got plenty time.’

That confidence is well-founded. Of the seven players who finished ahead of him at Royal St George’s, Sandwich, Kent, five are in the top 10 in the world rankings, including newly-crowned Champion Golfer Colin Morikawa and world numbers one and two, John Rahm and Dustin Johnston.

The Oban left-hander is playing among the world’s elite golfers.

His eighth-place finish had the added bonus of securing a spot in the 3M Open in Minnesota which starts this Thursday, July 22.

Not only will this give Bob the chance to improve his world ranking points and help his bid for an automatic place in the Ryder Cup team, it will be another step on the way to securing full playing rights on the PGA tour.

While playing more in the USA is an immediate goal, Bob was keen to stress he will always be an Oban boy at heart. ‘I’ve not got full playing rights in the US yet, so my base is in Oban. It always will be. When the time is right, I’ll get a place out there, but I’m not in a rush.’

As he settles back for his flight across the Atlantic, Bob will have a proper chance to reflect on his stunning performance last week. This time you can be sure his face will show it.