Will Bob’s big gamble pay off?

Bob MacIntyre. Photograph: Kevin McGlynn.

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Oban’s Robert Macintyre has made a decision that could have huge implications for both his playing status next year and his chances of qualifying for this year’s Ryder Cup.

Bob and his management team have opted to stay in America and compete in the three-tournament Korn Ferry Tour Finals in a bid to secure full playing rights in the USPGA Tour next season. The Korn Ferry Tour is the equivalent of the European Challenge Tour and represents the level below the main PGA tour. Bob will be seeking to emulate his 2018 performance on the Challenge Tour where a top 15 finish allowed him to graduate to the full European Tour and go on to become Rookie of the Year in 2019.

This time Bob will need to finish in the top 25 highest points earners after the three consecutive  tournaments to earn his US tour card. His quest kicks off today (Thursday) at the Albertsons Boise Open in Idaho, before moving to Ohio next week and finishing at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in Newburgh Indiana on September 2.

The decision to play in the States and fight for his tour card means that Bob will not play in the European Masters in Switzerland next week or the following week’s Italian Open. This leaves him only one final opportunity to qualify automatically for this year’s Ryder Cup. That will come at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on  September 9.

If the stars align over the next month Bob will secure his PGA tour card and arrive at Wentworth brimming with confidence. He’ll then  put in a performance that either secures an automatic Ryder Cup place or does enough to convince Captain Padraig Harrington that he justifies one of his three picks.

Everyone in Oban and the whole of Scotland will be hoping that the gamble pays off.