McDowell backs MacIntyre for big Ryder Cup future

Bernie McGuire
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McDowell backs MacIntyre for big Ryder Cup future

Graeme McDowell and Robert MacIntyre (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Robert MacIntyre may have fallen short in his quest to qualify for this month’s Ryder Cup but probable 2027 Ryder Cup captain Graeme McDowell predicts Scotland’s top-ranked player to end his career as a multi-capped European.

MacIntyre, 25, arrived at Wentworth as one of some 15 players mathematically in with a chance of Whistling Straits selection. However, MacIntyre put himself right behind the 8-ball in dropping three shots in his closing three holes for a 74 on day one of the BMW PGA Championship.

It left him too much work to do on day two with his bogey-free 69, a round where he birdied just one of the four par-5s, seeing him fall one shot shy of playing all four days. Though McDowell, who was clearly sent out in the group as one of Padraig Harrington’s vice-captains to keep ‘an eye’ on the Scot, said he saw enough to make-up his mind.

“Robert showed me that it’s only a matter of time until he plays in a Ryder Cup,” said McDowell after his rounds of 71 and 69 to move to four-under par.

“He makes a lot of birdies. You know, he makes mistakes, like we all did when we were young. It is very hard to have the fully polished, finished article, but he is very close.

“We were talking about Ryder Cup captains and I said to Robert there is a Ryder Cup in Ireland in 2027 at Adare Manor that I have my beady eye on and I said to him, ‘hopefully I’ll be giving you a slap on the back and sending you out on Sunday leading the team’.

“But in saying that, it won’t be his first Ryder Cup in 2027. I think he’s a quality player. I love him. I think he’s got a great attitude. He’s super-talented. He’s just young and aggressive and that equals birdies and mistakes.”

McDowell brilliantly stamped his name into European Ryder Cup folklore in holing the winning putt in 2010 at Celtic Manor. And while MacIntyre returns to Scotland disappointed, McDowell said he has much to look forward to in his professional ‘teams’ career.

“Robert has a Ryder Cup future all over him,” said McDowell. “He has a lot of belief in himself. He’s a very grounded individual and I love playing with him. He’s a great lad and he impresses me.”

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