Robert MacIntyre - Quick Interview
Robert MacIntyre thrilled Scottish golf and impressed the rest of the world with a 12th placed finish in The Masters in April to earn a return to Augusta next year. The talented 24-year-old, currently the leading Scot in the world rankings, now heads to Kiawah Island to play in next week’s US PGA Championship. He is also looking forward to autumn and bringing his family and friends from Oban to the Alfred Dunhill Links in October. “The event suits me. It’s a fun week,” he says.
Question: The dust has settled now, can you give us your reaction to your performance at Augusta?
Robert MacIntyre: It really was quite some week, and there is no doubt that Augusta is a very unique place. The short-term goal over the past two months in the United States was to play well enough to secure an invite to The Masters. Once the invitation arrived, I knew I had to re-focus. I wanted to enjoy my first trip to Augusta, but I went there to compete
Question: You looked comfortable throughout, was it really like that?
Robert MacIntyre: I took a break the week before The Masters and, although I didn’t go there until the Monday, I was able to get settled over the weekend before, so that I was ready to practise as soon as I was on site. I loved the course and I feel it suited my game well. However, the greens are some of the toughest I have ever putted on, so any loss of concentration can have a big impact on your round. I was fortunate to speak with Sandy Lyle before the event and also to play a practice round with Patrick Reed. Their advice was invaluable, and this helped me as the week went on
Question: You finished tied 12th, did you have a target going into the event?
Robert MacIntyre: Every time I enter a golf tournament, I am there to do the best I can and I want to win. The Masters was no different, although I knew how difficult a course it can be. Once I made the cut, I was keen to push on over the weekend, and that’s exactly what I did. My birdie count showed that I was willing to take my chances when the moment came, but I also recognise how difficult a course it can be.
Question: What does it mean knowing that you will definitely be going back to Augusta in 2022?
Robert MacIntyre: It’s a great feeling to know already that I will be competing again at Augusta next year, because playing at this level in the Majors is where I want to be. I will use everything I have learned this year next year and, hopefully, in many more years to come too.
Question: You are the highest-ranked Scot in the world - at the age of 24. What does that mean to you?
Robert MacIntyre: I am obviously proud to represent my country on Tour, and being the highest-ranked Scot is special. However, it’s the world rankings that count, and the higher I can get up these rankings is what motivates me.
Question: What are your goals for the rest of 2021?
Robert MacIntyre: I am looking forward to playing in the rest of the Majors and WGC events, and I am obviously looking forward to be competing at home in Scotland too. I always receive a fantastic support when I play in Scotland and these events are very important to me.
Question: The Alfred Dunhill Links has been held at St Andrews since 2001 – as a Scot is that an important event for you?
Robert MacIntyre: Like Augusta, St Andrews is also a very special place. I was brought up playing on links golf courses, so the event suits me. We get the chance to play on three fantastic courses in front of a big home support, and that is hugely motivating. It’s a fun week and I have my entire family and friends from Oban with me, which is something that doesn’t happen too much on Tour. The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is now one of the most established events on the European Tour schedule, and I am hoping that I can perform well in front of a home crowd this year.
Question: You played in 2019, what are your memories?
Robert MacIntyre: I was playing with Ashton Curtis in 2019, and, although individually and as a team we weren’t right up there competing, I was pleased that we made the cut and had the chance to play on the Old Course for a second time on the Sunday.
Question: Are you looking forward to playing this year?
Robert MacIntyre: The past 12 months have been tough for everyone and trying to get back to playing in front of crowds is something that we are all looking forward to. So I am hopeful that we may be able to see some golf fans back on the course soon. The timing of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship means that this could be a real possibility and this would be great for the fans, the players and the event.
Question: Then there will be the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews in 2022 – is golf history something that is important to you?
Robert MacIntyre: Yes, golf is my passion and a huge part of my life. I have been brought up living on a golf course and watching all of the Major Championships on the TV. I love the history and tradition that golf brings, together with the competitive demands of the professional game. Just as my first Masters was exciting to compete in, the 150th Open Championship on the Old Course is something I really want to be a part of.
Question: Did you have a role model when you were younger that you looked up to?
Robert MacIntyre: Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson
Question: Who has helped you most in your rise to the top 50 in the world?
Robert MacIntyre: There have been many people, in addition to my family, who have helped me since I was a kid, however I really believe in the strength of the team around you. Some, like Michael my caddie, are more visible, but everyone has a part to play, and having the right people, with the same mindset, gives you a strong platform to allow me to play my best.
Question: What do you feel are your strengths?
Robert MacIntyre: I like to focus on my game, rather than be affected by what is going on around me. I believe that if I can continue to improve my golf game and play to the best of my ability, then the rewards will be there. I am very ambitious and I have put a lot of hard work into getting to where I am now, but I also know there is still a lot of hard work to do if I am to fully realise my ambitions.
Question: What are you working on to improve?
Robert MacIntyre: I am always looking to improve every aspect of my game, and I try to find areas that can help me by even the smallest of margins. There are so many good players playing at the top of game that I cannot afford to have any significant weaknesses. I am still young, and I am learning with every event I play. There is a reason why many players remain at the top level of the world rankings and I believe, with the right drive and ambition, I can develop my game to genuinely challenge and compete at this level.