‘It's time to grow up’, says new homeowner Bob MacIntyre
His suitcase may have been packed and waiting for him when he arrived home in Oban on Sunday night, but, before anyone starts worrying, it wasn’t because Bob MacIntyre had done anything to upset his mum Carol or dad Dougie.
While he was over on the other side of the country competing in the Scottish Open last week, MacIntyre officially became a first-time home owner as the keys were handed over for his new bachelor pad in his beloved hometown.
Having now moved on to Wentworth for this week’s BMW PGA Championship, it was a flying visit to the new property in his short time at home, but the 24-year-old is excited to have taken one of the biggest steps in his life so far.
“I have, aye,” he said, smiling, to being asked by The Scotsman if it was true that he’d splashed some of his cash, having won more than €2 million last season on his way to being crowned European Tour Rookie of the Year. “It’s my first home. It’s a flat in a nice area, right on the beach. I love the seaside and I probably won’t ever move from there, to be honest.
“My mum and sisters were in there on Friday giving it a wee clean. I don’t know when I will move in as I’ve got to purchase a few new things. It was time to grow up. I think now’s the right time.”
MacIntyre has already shown that he is very much his own man when it comes to his golf, having not been scared to make tough decisions like a caddie change that saw Mikey Thomson take over from Greg Milne in the Scottish Open.
Now he’s ready to do likewise off the course as he leaves the family home overlooking the 12th hole on Glencruitten Golf Club, where Dougie is the greenkeeper.
“I’ll be looking after myself,” he added. “When I move in, I’m sure my mother will be round checking up on me, but it’s time to grow up. I’ve taken a few steps in that respect over the last few years and the next one was getting my own place, paying the bills and learning to live. I’m all right at the old cooking, but I am sure I will need to learn a few more old tricks!”
Speaking at The Renaissance Club at the weekend, he said: “Obviously when I go away from here, I will go to my mum and dad’s and it will be, ‘right, here’s the suitcase’ (laughing).
“But, once I get into the flat, I will start doing things myself. I’m 24 now. I need to start doing things myself. I need to take the next steps in life.”
Helped by a top-15 finish in the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open as he recovered well from an opening 74, MacIntyre is heading into another big event this week with a spring back in his step.
“When I first came back (after the Covid-19 lockdown), I was fed up and wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. You could ask Greg, I was probably nippier than I have ever been,” said the left-hander.
“But, in the Scottish Open, I felt as though I was back to where I should be on the golf course and enjoying myself. Yes, you get down on yourself when you get a bad break or hit a bad shot, but it’s trying to switch off when that happens.
“I bogeyed the 17th in my third round, but then I was all smiles walking down the 18th as I was back to where I need to be mentally.”
MacIntyre is among eight Scots in the field at Wentworth, where he tied for 28th 12 months ago on his debut over the East Course at the Surrey venue.
That effort sparked a strong finish to the season as he came out on top in a thrilling battle with American Kurt Kitayama to become the first Scot to claim the Rookie of the Year title since Marc Warren in 2006.
“It was my first time at Wentworth last year and if you drive it well round there, you will play good. I’ve just got to continue trusting what I am doing,” he said.
“Me and Davy [Burns, his coach] have worked hard over the last two months. It was a wee bit slack at the start, but now we are starting to enjoy ourselves and, once you start enjoying something, you put in more effort and that’s starting to show.
“My misses last year, especially in the rain, were so big as there was less spin as I was fading it whereas now I feel I have the driver under full control with nice little draws.
“In the rain on Saturday at The Renaissance Club, I was worried with the driver in my hand, but I hit a nice one down the first and it was kind of cruise control from there.”
MacIntyre admitted his decision to split with Milne had been gut-wrenching, but it was a promising first week with Thomson on his bag after the Fifer had jumped at the golden opportunity.
“Mikey has been brilliant so far,” he said. “It’s just trust, which is a huge thing. He’s backing me to hit shots that I know I can hit and he knows I can hit.
“For me, it’s about him being sure if I’m not sure. Even if he’s not 100 per cent, it's about him making me feel this is the shot. It’s about being fully-committed and if I’m not fully-committed to shots, I don’t play good golf.”
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