Delight in Dubai as Bob goes fourth

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Oban’s Robert MacIntyre rounded off his golfing year in style with a brilliant fourth place finish at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai on Sunday.

His birdie on the final hole not only sealed a fine finish but moved him up to ninth place in the final Race To Dubai standings and secured him a place in the 2022 US Open, meaning he has now qualified to play in all four majors next season.

After showing signs of a return to form in his previous tournament, Robert went into the Rolex series event with a renewed confidence that was evident in a sparkling opening round of 68. He followed that with a solid 69 on Friday to leave himself well placed going into the weekend.

Saturday then saw a masterclass in attacking golf with Bob firing six birdies and an eagle in a 67 which left him two shots back from leader Rory McIlroy going into the final round.

Going out in the penultimate group on Sunday, it was obvious within the first few holes that Bob was going to have to dig deep to contend. While his overall game was a bit scratchy, brilliant scrambling and putting kept him in contention and when he rolled in a birdie putt on the 11th green to move just one shot behind McIlroy, his second tour win looked a realistic possibility.

Unfortunately, any prospect of victory disappeared at the 12th hole when an errant tee shot was cruelly punished when his ball came to rest against an exposed tree root. The resultant double bogey saw Bob briefly lose composure and another bogey followed at the 13th.

Suddenly three-and-a-half days of brilliant golf was in danger of being undone on the back nine on Sunday. What followed was probably the gutsiest five holes of his professional career so far, with Bob dusting himself down and firing back-to-back birdies at 15 and 16 before rounding things off with a tap-in birdie on the final hole to secure fourth place behind eventual winner and world number two Collin Morikawa.

Robert’s result in Dubai caps off another fine season on tour. The highlights were undoubtedly his eighth place finish at the Open, 12th place at the Masters as well as making the cut in the two other Majors, the US Open and US PGA Championship.

Add in another four top ten finishes, solid performances in WGC events in addition to a spell playing on the PGA tour and Robert has every right to look back with immense pride on 2021 and look forward to 2022 with renewed confidence and belief.