Robert MacIntyre is only a rub of the green – or a bounce on yesterday’s evidence – from his first European Tour victory after finishing just two shots out of the play-off won by Callum Shinkwin in the Aphrodite Hills Cyprus Open.
The young Scot saw a potential hole-in-one at the short 14th hit the flag and bounce 35 feet away, and a par rather than the two shots gained was the difference in his week after improving one shot a day from his opening 68.
He eventually shot a 65 in the final round that was just two behind Shinkwin, the Englishman going on to claim the title with a birdie on the first extra hole against Finland’s Kalle Samooja.
“You definitely need to have a bit of luck go your way to win a golf tournament,” reflected MacIntyre, who was 18-under for the week. “Today on 14 I’ve pitched it an inch from the hole, it hits the flag and goes to 35 feet. If it misses the flag it’s probably going in the hole.
“Disappointed with that, but I put in a great shift there, a bogey-free last round of six under. I thought I was going to have a chance but Callum has played some unbelievable golf on the back nine to score that 63, so hats off to him.”
MacIntyre admits that lockdown threw him a little and he’s been struggling to find consistency again in his game, but the 24-year-old lefty feels the changes he’s made – including a new set of irons this week – are starting to bed in.
“I’m enjoying my golf again,” he said. “I’m hitting my numbers with my irons, finally, and I’m in a good place mentally. The only part I have to do is just play golf and enjoy myself.
“Mikey (Thomson, his new caddie from Lundin) is doing a great job in keeping me going. We were hitting some irons before that we thought were good but were nowhere near it. The new irons this week have been night and day.
“We’ve not had any bad ones, we’ve hit a lot of greens this week. Just, the putter wasn’t hot enough – but my game is finally back to where it needs to be, and I’m finally seeing rewards for the work we’ve done.”
MacIntyre will stay out at the venue for the Cyprus Showdown event next week.
David Drysdale shot a final round 69 to finish in a tie for 10th, his best return since the Tour restarted, while Calum Hill was in a share of 41st place back on eight-under.
Shinkwin’s win his first, coming three years after he was edged in a play-off for the Scottish Open at Dundonald by Rafael Cabrera Bello – his only other podium finish during a six-year spell on Tour.