‘I was down and out’

‘I was down and out’

Robert MacIntyre secures thrilling victory at the Italian Open: 'I was down and out' - GETTY IMAGES

Robert MacIntyre secures thrilling victory at the Italian Open: ‘I was down and out’ – GETTY IMAGES

Billed as the future of Scottish men’s professional golf and regarded as a potential star of Europe’s Ryder Cup, Robert MacIntyre added a lot of substance to the Italian Open hype by not only beating Matt Fitzpatrick in a playoff, but also rejecting Rory McIlroy.

This is the victory the 26-year-old from Oban aspired to. MacIntyre broke his first edition of the DP World Tour in Cyprus in 2020 and emphasized his quality in hitting the ball with two top 10s at the Open and one in the top 12 at Masters 2020.

But after cracking the world’s top 50, MacIntyre had dropped to 110 in the standings and complaining about a season in which he had only enjoyed a top 10. Yet he overturned that mediocrity in the last round in Rome, rolling a 64 to reach 14. – under and force extra holes with reigning US Open champion Fitzpatrick firing a 67. MacIntyre birdwatted the first sudden death hole and was understandably emotional.

“This means everything,” MacIntyre said. “I was down and out two or three months ago. I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know where to go, but we talked to the right people and I scored two of the perfect golf shots in the Last time there was like this. so much hard work in this.

“I have a stubborn attitude, I never give up. I get punched but I answer. The birds arriving were huge and luckily I caught one there in the play-offs.”

Luke Donald, Europe’s captain, is sure to be impressed with MacIntyre’s 11 birdies on the final day. The Marco Simone Country Club will host the biennial dusted off in a year and after McIlroy advised him to join the team, MacIntyre emphasized his determination.

Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reports an errant shot during the Italian Open - AP golf tournament

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy reports an errant shot during the Italian Open – AP golf tournament

“Obviously we’re a long way from the Ryder Cup, but it’s my number one priority,” he said. “I’m playing on the golf course to be held in the Ryder Cup and I’m facing some of the best players in the world and I have a perfect start.” I can’t think of a better way to start than to win. Right now, go celebrate with friends and family, go home, and yes, this, this is special. “

McIlroy, one out of the lead overnight, dubbed the first and, despite a nine-to-nine comeback to score a 68 and finish with 12 under, one behind Victor Perez, third, was left to think about another call. close after finishing second in the BMW PGA Championship the previous Sunday.

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