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Robert MacIntyre takes Canadian Open with his dad as caddie

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Robert MacIntyre recovered from a shaky start to win his first PGA Tour title in the RBC Canadian Open. MacIntyre carded a final round of 68 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club to finish 16 under par, a shot ahead of Ben Griffin. The American had piled on the pressure with birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th to close within one of his playing partner, but could not find a fourth in a row on the last to potentially force a playoff.

That meant MacIntyre had the luxury of two-putting from 10 feet for the win before embracing his father, Dougie, who had been called on to caddie at short notice. Asked why he was so emotional at the win, MacIntyre gestured to his dad as he told CBS: “Because of this. This is just everything for me and family, my girlfriend, my team. I can’t believe I’ve done it with him on the bag. I’m crying with joy but I’m laughing because I didn’t think it was possible.”

MacIntyre’s four-shot overnight lead was wiped out in the space of four holes after he bogeyed the first while home favourite Mackenzie Hughes made a hat-trick of early birdies. However, MacIntyre responded superbly to birdie the fourth, seventh and eighth to regain control, despite having to ask for a drone being used for the television coverage to be moved on several occasions before he finally got his wish.

Another birdie on the 11th was followed by a wild tee shot on the 12th into a water hazard and another bogey on the 13th opened the door for the chasing pack, but he crucially birdied the 15th and safely parred the last three holes.

MacIntyre has made no secret of his struggle to adapt to living in the United States this season, but benefited hugely from a three-week spell back in Scotland in April and contended for the Myrtle Beach Classic before finishing eighth in the US PGA Championship.

“I was going down the last there and my dad’s trying to tell me to stay focused and swing smooth because yesterday I got a little bit too fast, but in my head I wasn’t listening to him,” MacIntyre said. “I wanted to win this for my dad. This is the guy that’s taught me the game of golf and I just can’t believe I done this with him on the bag.”

Robert MacIntyre celebrates on the 18th green with his caddie, and father, Dougie MacIntyre. Photograph: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Dougie, who is head greenkeeper at Glencruitten Golf Club in Oban: said: “It’s unbelievable. I’m a grasscutter, not a caddie. I got phoned last Saturday night, I’m sitting on the couch at home eight o’clock and I’m [thinking] can I leave my job here, I’m busy at work. Eight o’clock the next morning I’m on a flight out here and wow.”

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Asked if his dad was now a permanent fixture on the bag, MacIntyre said: “No, dad’s on the flight home on Monday and me and my girlfriend might go home as well and just have a hell of a party because this is incredible.” If so, that would mean MacIntyre misses this week’s Memorial Tournament in Ohio, the final event before the US Open at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

Rory McIlroy warmed up for Memorial with a closing 64 to finish in tied fourth place alongside South Korea’s Tom Kim. Frenchman Victor Perez birdied the last to take third, two behind MacIntyre.

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