DO NOT mention LIV Golf to Robert MacIntyre. For starters, he’s probably scoffed at by all the flippin’ palaver anyway, just like you reading this page and sighing, ‘is that yet another mention of LIV Golf?’
And two, he has more important things on his mind when he’s not trying to win golf tournaments.
“I’m too busy sitting on my couch watching TV or playing shinty,” he said with a smile when asked about the you-know-what the steamie golfer is talking about. “I’m not going to talk about it. During the weeks off, I don’t watch golf.
Playing a solid right-bat that would get a ripple of applause during the opening innings of a county cricket match, MacIntyre refused to be dragged into enthusiastic offensives over the entire LIV Golf situation.
In some ways it was a relief. We could all just crack up and talk about the upcoming Genesis Scottish Open here at The Renaissance instead of delving into another fankle about player rebellions and the kind of messy, complex legal challenges that have left golf writers showing grim faces by Rumpole of the Bailey.
“These are the biggest weeks of my career, with the Scottish Open and its best ever field, then the Open Championship at the Home of Golf,” he said of this windfall. two weeks in the birthplace of the game. “That’s all I’m here to talk about. These two weeks are huge for my game and my career. I have a chance in the next few weeks to do something special and I don’t worry about what else happens.
It’s been a topsy-turvy spell for MacIntyre in 2022 and the Oban southpaw certainly didn’t fire on all cylinders. From 60th in the world rankings at the start of the new campaign, the 25-year-old has fallen to 102nd place.
A finishing touch at the Irish Open last weekend, where he netted a share of 13th, provided a timely tonic after back-to-back missed cuts on the DP World Tour in Germany. “I see signs,” he said of reasons for optimism in this game of thin margins and fickle fortunes.
“The last little bit when I was hard on myself, the results didn’t go my way and I didn’t play at a level that I know I can play. I think I overpowered myself too easily; one bad move and disaster strikes.
“Munich (for BMW International) was a revelation and I can’t let these things happen. After 30 holes I was in the leaderboard and after 36 I was on my way back after missing the cut.
While everyone is talking about who is jumping on the LIV Golf sauce bandwagon, MacIntyre hopes he can take the express lane to the PGA Tour. Not on ScotRail, of course. You can’t go anywhere on that. But, as part of a strengthening of the strategic alliance between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour, the top 10 players in the rankings of the former European Tour at the end of the year – who do not already benefit from a PGA Tour waiver – earn a card for the lucrative US-based tour.
Had such a deal been made last year, MacIntyre, who finished ninth in the Race to Dubai, would have been sorted. He’s currently 70th on the Order of Merit, but there’s a lot to play for.
At a time when vast gold-covered carrots are being hung up by the Saudis in an effort to draw players away from established tours, MacIntyre remains focused on pursuing his own path to a land of milk-and-honey golf in America. .
“For me, everyone is striving to play against the best players in the world and right now the best players in the world are playing on the PGA Tour,” he said. “With the alliance, it gives us the opportunity to make it happen. It’s a great opportunity for me, especially for a 25-year-old player who has a path to the stronger golf courses.
“Obviously you never forget where you came from and you never forget where you started playing championship golf, but if I can play against the best players in the world, I have to take this chance.”
As he pursues the American dream, a strong performance on home soil over the next two weeks could see MacIntyre take important steps on that journey.