Ahead of the start of the 2023 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone Golf Club this Friday, we have decided to profile the eight rookies from both teams. Last but my no means least from team Europe is a former winner around Marco Simone Golf Club and has already been getting in the swing of things in Rome with Ryder Cup pyjamas and Colosseum lego.
Name: Robert MacIntyre
Robert MacIntyre is relishing the team environment at this weeks Ryder Cup, drawing comparisons to his amateur career and tight family upbringing back home in Oban, Scotland.
“Everything we’ve done with Scottish golf in amateur stuff was always team stuff, European Teams, Nations Cup. I went to college for a year and a half; it was a team. You travel as a team. My whole life’s a team. I don’t do anything without a team behind me.
“I have my small community back home, a lot of family in one area. Everything’s — it’s like a family. That’s the way I treat a team is literally try and treat it like a family, and this week’s been the same”, he told the media.
MacIntyre, who posted a photo of himself in the Ryder Cup pyjamas with ruins of Colesseum lego in the background, admits that it hasn’t fully hit him yet and says he’s just going through the motions in the build up to the start of play.
“To be honest, there’s not much time to yourself other than when you’re sleeping. To be honest with you, I’m very relaxed just now. The proper buzz hasn’t hit me yet. I think Friday or Thursday night, it will start to hit me a bit.
“Just now, I’m as chilled out as I ever have been, and I think it’s my personality. But I think on the music side of it, I don’t think they will let me control the music. I like my Gaelic, my kind of Teuchter music”. A member of the media quizzed the Scotsman on the music. “It’s just the Scottish Highland music. Scottish Gaelic stuff. Sometimes not the best singers, but it’s a good party”. If Europe are to win we might hear the Teuchter music blaring from the team room on Sunday night.
MacIyntyre had a pretty successful amateur career. In 2013 he won the Scottish Youths Championship and the Scottish Boys Open stroke play championship. Two years later he won the 2015 Scottish Amateur and in 2016 he was runner-up in the Amateur Championship, losing 2&1 in the final to Scott Gregory at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. The same year MacIntyre represented Scotland at the Eisenhower trophy and in 2017 he was part of a GB&I Walker Cup team that lost to an American team that included US Ryder Cup team members Scottie Scheffler and Collin Morikawa. He attended McNeese State University for 18 months between 2014 and 2015 before putting his full focus into golf.
MacIntyre turned proffessional in late 2017, playing his first two events on the MENA Tour and he got off to a great start finishing in a tie for third place in the Jordan’s Ayla Golf Championship and then winning the Sahara Kuwait Championship. The Scotsman made the final stage of European Tour Q-School and the 37th place finish was enough to secure his Challenge Tour card for the 2018 season.
In August 2018, MacIntyre lost in a playoff to finnish golfer Kim Koivu but this loss sparked an incredible end to his season. He finished tied for fourth in the Monagahan Irish Challenge, lost a playoff to Victor Perez in the Foshan Open and tied for 6th at the Challenge Tour Grand Final. His good finish to the season lifted him to 12th in the Challenge Tour Order of Merit, enough to earn his card for the 2019 European Tour season.
MacIntyre had a brilliant rookie season on the European Tour. He finished eagle-birdie for a tied second finish at the Betfred British Masters and two weeks later he finished runner up again at the Made in Denmark, one shot behind Bernd Wiesberger. In July of that year, MacIntyre made his debut at the Open Championship in Royal Portrush, finishing in a brilliant tie for sixth place. Three months later he became the highest ranked Scotsman in the World Golf Rankings after a top five finish at the Italian Open. The Scotsman finished the season in 11th place on the Race to Dubai ranking, earning him the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.
In November 2020, MacIntyre claimed his first European Tour title at the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Showdown, with the final round cut to 19 players due to knockout format of the event. MacIntyre’s final round of 64 was good to seal the victory and beat Masahiro Kawamura by one shot.
MacIntyre has previous success around Marco Simone Golf Club, winning his second European Tour event at the Italian Open last year. His final round of 64 was enough for a playoff with US Open Champion Matt Fitzpatrick. He birdied the first play off hole to win the title. In July of this year MacIntyre came agonisingly close to winning his home open at the Renaissance Club. The Scotsman made a brilliant birdie on 18 only for Rory McIlroy to finish birdie-birdie to beat him by one stroke.
MacIntyre finsished in third on the European points list, sealing his automatic qualificatio for the Ryder Cup where he hopes his previous success will help him flourish as a rookie when the matches get underway tomorrow.