By Fatiha Betscher at Le National.
Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre has spoken of his delight in silencing a pair of US Open champions in also admitting his DS Automobiles Italian Open victory ‘wasn’t pretty but it was dogged’ and that was the key to his second Tour success on the outskirts of Rome.
MacIntyre ended a nearly two-year success absence to deny reigning US Open champ Matt Fitzpatrick in a play-off to capture the 79th hosting of the Italian championship.
The Scot has been widely praised for his victory on the host Marco Simone course with 2023 Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald posting a Tweet saying how pleased he was for MacIntyre.
And now ahead of this week’s French Open MacIntyre has spoken again of his joy in now becoming a multiple DP World Tour winner.
“The win was absolutely massive for everything, for my season and everything, and I’m looking forward to the Ryder Cup,” he said.
“It was the place to do it and especially the fashion in the way I won. It wasn’t pretty but it was dogged but I got over the line.
“My game was right there. I was disappointed with my results during the stretch from Switzerland through to Italy. I knew good things were coming though but it was just when. Thankfully it was a big one that I won.”
“I know the level of golf I can play and where I believe I should be. It was a slow start to the season with not many great finishes. I’d made a lot of changes and I was doubting myself from time to time. You just have to let it be. If you trust what you are doing, that’s all you can do and wait for something good to happen. It was worth the wait.”
MacIntyre’s second victory materialised after recent big changes in his backroom starting first with appointing a new caddy and then the surprise move of parting with his long-term coach, but it seems to have turned out for the better with MacIntyre correcting his slide down the World Rankings from 110th to now 68th in the World.
As well, and in the bigger 2023 Ryder Cup selection picture, he’s third on the selection rankings behind the Irish duo of Shane Lowry and Rory McIlroy.
“It’s massive for my belief, confidence, everything,” said MacIntyre.
“When it went to that play-off, it’s a lottery. I’ve been in one before on the Challenge Tour with Victor Perez and it didn’t go my way, thankfully this one did.
“It’s just the belief it gives you. I knew I could compete with them, I just didn’t know if I could get it over the line when it went to the nitty-gritty bit, but I managed and it is such a relief that I did.
“And that’s my big goal, to make the Ryder Cup team. It was my goal somewhat towards the end of last year. It didn’t work out. I chased my PGA Tour card, but that didn’t work out. But I have no regrets about that.
“Obviously, you get another opportunity, I’m older, I’m somewhat wiser, I’m a better golfer, so it’s just about me. I know what I am capable of, I showed that on Sunday and it’s about going out to do that more often.”
MacIntyre, among nine Scots teeing-up this week on the Le National course, has not previously contested a French Open championship though that has not been helped that the event has been cancelled the past two years due to Covid restrictions.
This week he’s among nine Scots in this year’s 104th edition of the French Open.