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Family affair as MacIntyre and father hang tough in Canada – Irish Golfer Magazine



When Robert MacIntyre rolled in a 21-footer for birdie on the 11th hole at Hamilton Country Club, he’d just opened up a five-stroke lead and looked set to coast home for his maiden PGA Tour victory, but things are rarely that simple.

A badly pushed tee shot on the next found the hazard leading to bogey, a poor chip on the next lead to another, and all of a sudden the Scot had beads of sweat running down his forehead and that nauseous feeling creeping up from his stomach.

When you’re a kid and things start going wrong, there are only two people you want by your side, and fortunately for MacIntyre, he had one of those in the shape of father Dougie who was carrying the bag this week.

A greenkeeper at Glencruitten Golf Club back in their native Oban, Dougie received his son’s S.O.S. call late on Saturday night after MacIntyre had missed the cut at the Charles Schwab Challenge and elected to part ways with his fourth caddie in 18 months. Having spoken openly of suffering homesickness in his maiden season on the PGA Tour, what better way to fill the void than to bring home to you and just a few hours later, Dougie was on board a plane across the Atlantic after being given the all-clear by his employers and his wife. One suspects that the latter was easily cajoled when her darling son was in need.

The younger of the two MacIntyres handled all the yardages and club selections, the elder did the carrying, but it was the figurative arm around the shoulder that made him worth his weight in gold.

Playing partner Ben Griffin reeled off three birdies in a row to draw within one of MacIntyre as they stood on the 18th tee, but the Scot’s iron play had been excellent all day and one more pinpoint approach ensured it was a mere formality once Griffin failed to hole from just off the green.

The father-son embrace once the final putt was holed would’ve brought a tear to a glass eye, and the joint interview they conducted greenside was exactly as you’d expect.

“It’s just incredible to do this with my dad on the bag and have my girlfriend here and I’m sure there’s a party going on back home in Oban,” Robert said. “Goose bumps. It’s incredible. It’s a dream of mine to play golf for a living. It’s been a dream of mine to win on the PGA TOUR, when I got my PGA TOUR card, and I just can’t believe I done it with my dad on the bag. The guy’s taught me the way I play golf. I mean, I don’t, I never make it easy, and he said that, when I was 16 or 17, he’s going, You never make this easy. And that’s the way I play golf, I play it with the heart on the sleeve, and we got a hell of a fight in the two of us and I just can’t believe that I’ve won on the PGA TOUR, to be honest.”

“He gets grumpy. That’s his downfall. When he gets grumpy and mad at himself the game goes,” Dougie said, but he was able to calm him down, get him to refocus on the job at hand, and now this victory opens up a lot of doors for the leading Scot who will earn invitations to both the Memorial Tournament this week and the U.S. Open at Pinehurst a week after and can skip the 36-hole qualifier he was scheduled to be competing in the day after the Canadian Open.

His father was due to carry the bag in the U.S. Open qualifier, but will he still have his father on the bag at the Memorial and at Pinehurst? That’s an emphatic no according to Dougie.

“I’m going back to cutting grass,” he said, and he’s booked on a |Tuesday morning flight back to Scotland and in the heat of the moment, Robert said that he and his girlfriend just might join him. “I think we’re going to go back too and have one hell of a party,” he said, “though later in his press conference, likely after another stern talking to from his father, his perspective had slightly shifted.

“Yeah, well, I’ve not even spoken to my mum, my family, my team, my managers,” he said when asked if he intended to tee it up in Ohio for Jack Nicklaus’ event. “I mean, I’m guessing I’m going to have to (smiling). I mean, I would love to go home for a party, but I think we’ll probably play next week.”

The only question remaining was whether or not Dougie would receive the traditional 10 percent cut of the winners’ cheque.

“Yeah, he’ll do all right,” MacIntyre said with a grin. “I think I’ve got to get rid of some money just now for tax reasons. But he’ll do nicely out of it. He deserves it. Look, he was a caddie for the week, but at the end of the day, he’s my dad and it was just — the emotion that you seen at the end, it was just almost out of sheer disbelieve that we done it with him on the bag. I mean, the amount of work that the caddies do week-in, week-out, which is unbelievable help. And then I just do it with my dad, he’s got a yardage book — I mean, he lost the yardage book, one, because he couldn’t get in on Monday, and he didn’t have credentials. I wouldn’t have thought it.”


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