Glencruitten Golf Club’s Robert MacIntyre produced some moments of magic to make a successful debut in his first group match at the WGC Matchplay in Austin, Texas on Wednesday.
In a tight and entertaining battle against Kevin Na, the world No 30 from the United States, MacIntyre was one down after 12 holes before a stunning turnaround. The 24-year-old from Oban holed an 86ft chip out of the rough for eagle on the par-4 13th and then moved two up on the par-5 16th with a 41ft shot out of the greenside bunker for another eagle. A 2&1 victory was secured on the 17th.
“I must say it was one of the best matches I’ve been involved in,” MacIntyre said. “Both of us were playing really well and weren’t giving an edge. The last five holes we both started going crazy. I chip in when he’s knocked it in tight, and it just kind of fed from that. The confidence was there in my game all day, I just continued to just commit to the shot and it paid off at the end.”
MacIntyre now faces a tantalising showdown against the world No 1 Dustin Johnson at 6:32pm UK time on Thursday as he bids to move closer to securing progression to the last-16 as the winner of Group 1. He is also on the brink of sealing his invite to next month’s Masters at Augusta as it appears increasingly unlikely that he will drop outside of the world’s top-50 on Monday from his present position of No 44.
“I’ve played the last three weeks and I’ve not played well,” MacIntyre said. “We worked hard the last week at Sawgrass. We stayed there for a week, we put in a lot of good work, and we came here and we done the exact same. We’ve played a lot of holes already this week just to get comfortable with what we’re working on.
“Today [against Na] it showed that I’m really starting to trust what I’m doing and I’m starting to see shots and hit the shots that I’m trying to hit. That’s huge when you’re trying to play match play and trust what you’re doing. Even if you get behind, you’ve got to keep trusting it. I am just looking forward to seeing what happens [against Johnson] tomorrow.”