(Scottish Golf Photo)
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland (September 20, 2016) -- Robert MacIntyre has been handed the perfect lift ahead of this week’s World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico after being crowned Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year.
Thanks to finishing as the leading Scot (13th), at both male and female level, on the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) at the September 9th cut off point, left-hander MacIntyre has secured the coveted accolade.
With a record-equalling eight male Scots regularly populating the top 100 of the WAGR this year, the Glencruitten player held off the challenge of GB&I Walker Cup winner Grant Forrest (19th) and Connor Syme (23rd), the Australian Amateur champion, to come out on top.
While the 20-year-old began his domestic campaign with a narrow victory in the Scottish Champion of Champions at Leven Golfing Society, it was later in the season when he truly clicked into gear.
MacIntyre became the third Scot in the last three years to reach The Amateur Championship final, narrowly losing out to England’s Scott Gregory, before helping Scotland retain the European Amateur Team Championship title in Sweden. As well as earning GB&I honors at The St Andrews Trophy, the Scot also finished fourth in the European Amateur Championship in Estonia and reached the quarter-finals of the Scottish Amateur.
MacIntyre, coached by George Boswell, follows in the spike marks of the last two winners of the award, Bradley Neil (2014) and Ewen Ferguson (2015).
“I’ve just pipped Grant to the post, so it’s always nice to get another accomplishment like this,” said MacIntyre of his award, having reached his highest ever world ranking.
“Although I did well at Leven, it was a slow start to my year. But, overall, it’s been good and late on in the season has been really good. Reaching The Amateur final was a nice week, even if I was gutted to lose in the final. The European Amateur a few weeks ago was just as good, because it’s stroke play and you want to prove yourself at that level.”
With MacIntyre, Forrest and Syme all placed inside the top 30 in the world, the trio have traveled to Mexico for the World Amateur Team Championship with confidence. Two years ago, Scotland finished inside the top-10 in the battle for the Eisenhower Trophy, while famously won the event in Australia in 2008.
Conditions are expected to be humid at the Mayakoba El Camaleón and Iberostar Playa Paraíso venues, but MacIntyre is hopeful the Scots can handle the heat.
“I think we travel with confidence,” he noted, ahead of the start of the four-round event on Wednesday. “As an individual, you approach every week to try and win. It’s no different in a team event. If we all play well, we won’t be far away. We’re high in the rankings, and if we play well, then great, hopefully we’ll be close.
“But you just don’t know in a team event, with two scores counting out of three. You’ve got to hope we all play well and see what happens at the end of it. The courses don’t look as demanding, perhaps compared to links courses, a wee bit shorter than normal. Overall, it looks awesome.”
MacIntyre has also benefitted from Scottish Golf’s partnership with Bounce Sports to gain experience in Challenge Tour events in Scotland and Ireland this year, missing the cut by a solitary shot on each occasion.
“It’s been unbelievable just getting the chance to play in them,” he said. “But it just shows when you don’t play well, you’ve got no chance. I didn’t play well in Ireland in the first round, then I was flying in the second round before stumbling. The standard on the Challenge Tour is superb.”