Robert MacIntyre is certain that DP World Tour win number three is not far away as the highest-ranked Scot on the Race to Dubai Rankings prepares for a dream two weeks at the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open Championship.
MacIntyre achieved his best result of the season so far last week as he finished in a tie for fourth at the Made in HimmerLand in Denmark, while he also has three other top tens in 2023.
He is one of a host of home favourites who have arrived at the Renaissance Club in fine form as part of a stellar field that includes eight of the top ten players in the Official World Golf Ranking as the DP World Tour and PGA TOUR co-sanction the Genesis Scottish Open for the second season.
“It’s obviously great to be back on home soil,” said MacIntyre. “There’s been a lot of travel this year, all over the world, but now to get back here, showing a bit of form — the next two weeks are absolutely massive. That’s what I’ve built the last three weeks up for is to come out of these two with a real freedom and just get ready to play golf.
“Last week was probably the best golf I’ve played in a long, long time, in about a year, I’d say. I had so much control of the golf ball, for 71 holes, I was in absolute cruise control.
“I think that I’m a few years wiser. I know what I can and I can’t do. It’s almost like with the buildup of the three events, I’ve got to try and reserve some energy. Played nine holes, warmed up, play nine, do this, disappear. Play the Pro-Am tomorrow, disappear. Just nine holes, nine holes. The first few years played I played this event, I put so much pressure on myself.
“It’s another golf tournament and I just have to try and treat it like that. It’s a little bit different when it doesn’t start the way you want it to start, but again, no matter what happens this week, I have another shot next week, kind of thing.”
Richie Ramsay was also in with a chance of winning last week, finding water on the last for a double-bogey when a par would have handed him the trophy.
The four-time DP World Tour winner – who is attached to the Renaissance Club – has three top tens in his last five starts and is full of confidence as he prepares to tee it up at his home Open.
“It’s great being in the mix,” said Ramsey. “It hurts to lose. Ever since I was a little kid, I hate losing. But it’s part and parcel of the journey these days, and it makes you stronger and it makes you more determined to get a win.
“But I spoke to my brother this morning, and he’s like, you’d have a problem if you weren’t putting yourself in that position. Although, he doesn’t play too much golf anymore. He’s one of my role models. When he said that, I took it on board a little bit more and realised that, you know, the problem is not that I hit a bad shot at the wrong time. The problem would be is if I wasn’t putting myself in that position, but I was there taking a shot at it. You kind of shoot for the stars, and I’ll hit one of the stars again sooner or later.”
Meanwhile Ewen Ferguson, who has three top fives this season alone including a tie for fourth in his last start at the Betfred British Masters, is delighted to be in elite company a week before his Major debut at The Open.
The 27-year-old is taking it all in his stride and had plenty of friends and family watching him at The Belfry two weeks ago, and believes the pressure to perform in front of loved ones – which he will face again this week – can actually get the best out of him.
“Played really well at the British Masters after first four holes, that wasn’t good, but then played really well that week. Actually the putt on the last, just missed, but was happy to give it a go,” said Ferguson.
“I like playing in front of like my family and stuff and trying to impress them. I’m looking forward to that. I do feel nervous when people are watching but I feel like I have an intensity over all my shots which makes me play well.
“They were all at the British Masters as well and at four over through four on the Thursday, if that happened at another tournament where no one else is there, I might be upset and miss the cut. But because they were there, I didn’t want to let them down.”