Robert MacIntyre may be a rookie on the top tours and in his first Open but he knows the proper protocol and wasn’t afraid to call out American Kyle Stanley at Royal Portrush.
Words were exchanged when Stanley, the former Walker Cup player, didn’t call out fore as his ball went towards the galleries on the 17th.
MacIntyre and the third member of the group Andrew “Beef” Johnson reacted as quickly as they could, but by that time they were too late to warn the spectators and anyway the onus was surely on Stanley.
As bad luck would have it, the ball hit and hurt Dubliner Stephanie Milne, the mother of Greg Milne, MacIntyre’s caddie. A similar incident, with Stanley again not calling a warning, had resulted in a marshal being hit on the leg on the 14th hole.
“I said I wasn’t happy about it and he didn’t take it well,” said Robert of the 17th hole. “He’s just standing there watching it and people didn’t have enough to react when me and Beef shouted.
“He’s the only one I’ve seen do that, it was straight into the crowd from the word go and we’re expecting him to shout fore.
“‘She’s all right, I think, but it’s not what you want. Aye, there were harsh words. It wasn’t too pleasant.”
It made for an unpleasant atmosphere for the remaining two holes, but MacIntyre felt they had to make a point.
“You’ve got to tell him it’s not right,” he said. “Shout fore. You know from the word go that ball’s going into the crowd. Just shout.
“It’s on the sheets, it’s on everything, you shout fore.”
Robert didn’t blame that incident for his bogey on the 18th, which mean the finished at two-under after 36 holes.
“My short putting has been poor,” he said. “I can count off six of them I’ve missed. It’s not good enough.
“But I’m happy to have made the cut and looking forward to the weekend.”
Russell Knox plans to let it all out on the weekend and see where it takes him, after a par round of 71 booked him a place for the weekend.
“I’m happy to be comfortably in for the weekend,” he said. “I’m playing good, swinging really well, but I haven’t exceeded expectations because I know how good a player I can be.”
He thinks that weather conditions on Saturday morning offer a chance for him to make a charge.
“I can have a go at it tomorrow morning,” he said. “Absolutely, I have a chance.
“This morning the weather was amazing and the guys really tore it up. If I can have a morning like that and take advantage of it, I could be right up there for Sunday.
“It’s all there for me. For the first time in a long time I’m confident with my putting. I’m driving the ball straight, and my iron game is always there. It’s time to let it all come out.”
There was agony for Connor Syme, who after a day long battle missed the cut on the mark, a bogey five at the final hole putting him over the threshold.
The Drumoig player was in position after a birdie at the 12th got him to even for the championship, but he followed with a four at the short 13th and the final hole cost him weekend play.
Paul Lawrie finished well off the cut mark, but he still feels not ready to expose himself to anything but senior tour golf as his recovery from foot surgery continues.
“I just get a bit fatigued and tired and hit some poor shots towards the end of rounds and can’t recover,” he said. “I feel a little bit better every day but my game is just not at this level.
“Hopefully it will be this time next year but, at the minute, it’s a bit of a struggle.”
This frustrates him because it’s not long since he felt able to compete.
“I played in the Ryder Cup when I was 43 and I don’t feel that was that long ago,” he said. “It is what it is, but I need to try and get a little bit better and keep going.
“The seniors is where it is for me now. I did think about not playing last week and this week because I don’t think my game is very good at the moment.
“These guys are pretty good and they hit it a long way. I’m not short as a senior – in fact, I’m one of longest – but over the last two days I was 20 yards behind the guys I was playing with.”
There was no repeat of making the cut for Sam Locke this year, and he didn’t have a birdie in his final round of 77, finishing at 10-over for the championship.