MacIn­tyre rel­ish­ing match­play chance at Span­ish chal­lenge

The Oban Times - - Sport -

OBAN’S Robert MacIn­tyre, run­ner-up in last year’s Am­a­teur Cham­pi­onship, hopes to use his match­play pedi­gree when he gains more Chal­lenge Tour ex­pe­ri­ence at a new-look event in Spain this week.

Thanks to Scot­tish Golf’s work with Bounce Sports Man­age­ment, left-han­der MacIn­tyre has se­cured an in­vi­ta­tion to the in­au­gu­ral An­dalucía Costa del Sol Match­play 9 – an in­no­va­tive event which sees match­play re­turn to the Chal­lenge Tour for the first time in 18 years.

The ex­cit­ing new tour­na­ment fea­tures 36 holes of stroke­play fol­lowed by a se­ries of nine­hole match­play bat­tles dur­ing the week­end at the La Cala Golf Ho­tel and Spa.

Bounce, Scot­tish Golf, Aberdeen As­set Man­age­ment and SSE Scot­tish Hy­dro re­cently an­nounced their new two-year part­ner­ship to help young play­ers de­velop their ca­reers, both through fi­nan­cial and man­age­ment sup­port, with rookie pros Grant For­rest and Ewen Fer­gu­son the first re­cip­i­ents of the sup­port in 2017.

Un­der the new part­ner­ship, lead­ing amateurs will also again ben­e­fit from pro op­por­tu­ni­ties this sea­son with Bounce man­ag­ing the play­ers’ itin­er­ary and prepa­ra­tion, work­ing closely with Scot­tish Golf’s per­for­mance team who over­see the play­ers for events on the am­a­teur cal­en­dar.

Glen­cruit­ten’s MacIn­tyre, who was among those to ben­e­fit from pro starts last year, will now tee up with the likes of For­rest, Fer­gu­son and 2014 am­a­teur cham­pion Bradley Neil in An­dalu­cia this week.

‘I can’t wait to get go­ing, as the course is de­signed for this kind of for­mat which is great to see,’ said MacIn­tyre, also a Euro­pean am­a­teur team win­ner with Scot­land last sum­mer.

‘I feel like my game is in a good place at the mo­ment, which was the same at the Bri­tish (am­a­teur) last year, so ev­ery­thing is in place for me to go out there and en­joy my­self while try­ing to play good golf. Get­ting the chance to play in these Chal­lenge Tour events is great, as it lets you know what stage you’re at in the build-up to where you want to be. Last year, I missed both cuts by one shot so I’m hop­ing to put that be­hind me and get things mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.’

MacIn­tyre con­tin­ues to ride high in the World Am­a­teur Golf rank­ings at seventh spot, a place ahead of Dru­moig’s Con­nor Syme, but isn’t think­ing ahead too far.

The 20-year- old, who also won the Scot­tish Am­a­teur at Muir­field in 2015, added: ‘I al­ways see each day as a school day, as af­ter every day of life you should learn something which makes you bet­ter the next day. You can’t sit still in this game, or you’re go­ing to be passed by.

‘I feel the chance to play at a bet­ter level is al­ways go­ing to help and I think, for Grant and Ewen, they both will feel a bit more re­laxed in their first full sea­son as pro­fes­sion­als due to know­ing what to do and what not to do on and off the course.’

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