MacIntyre Looking To Impress Reed As Scot Closes-In On ‘Rookie Of The Year’ Title

… Belek, Turkey

Top-ranked Scot Bob MacIntyre will get to boost his ‘Rookie of the Year’ claims alongside Masters champion, Patrick Reed for the opening two days of the Turkish Airlines Open at Belek.

MacIntyre is currently lying ninth of the ‘Race to Dubai’ money list and four places clear of nearest rookie rival, Victor Perez of France and with Perez just one place clear of American Kurt Kitayama, a double winner this year and also in his rookie season.

In past seasons, the ‘Rookie of the Year’ award would be headed to Kitayama given he’s a winner already this year of the Mauritius Open and the Oman Open titles.

But the Tour has since amended the prestigious award and remove any controversy or voter bias to now be presented to the rookie who finishes the highest on the ‘Race to Dubai’.

With just three events remaining it’s the Oban-based MacIntyre out in front and seeking to become the first Scot since Marc Warren in 2006 to be presented with the Sir Henry Cotton trophy.

And the last thing MacIntyre seeks this week, and in the company of the 2017 Masters winner, will be to start the Turkish event in taking a first hole double-bogey as he had done a week ago in Shanghai.

He said:  “Last week the first tee nerves were bigger than normal as I’d had two weeks off and had barely picked up a club but once I got going I was fine and to end the event with an eagle was great.

“There’s only so good you can get at a game. If you play board games, there’s only so good you can get. And that’s how I look at my golf.

“The good also these next three weeks there is no halfway cut so you can just go for it. I’ll be aggressive this week. There’s nothing to lose.

“I want to end the year getting into the top-five on the Race to Dubai so I’ve got three events to do that so I don’t see why I can’t do it.”

And helping the quietly-spoken lefty in this quest is the presence in Turkey of coach, Davy Burns and residing in the close-by 7-star Maxx Royal Hotel that’s within walking distance of this week’s host Montgomerie Maxx course.

He said: “Davy is out for this week and then for the last event in Dubai.

“Everybody is coming to Dubai, the whole family. It’s all about being comfortable. When Davy is here, I always play well. The British Masters, The Open, Germany (European Open).

“I play my best when he’s here. It’s not just the fact that he’s coaching my golf, it’s at dinner, it’s the chat. We talk about anything rather than golf. He’s not just my golf coach, he turns into a psychologist. I love that. I love having people around.

“When it’s just me and my caddie, you can get bogged down in too much golf.”

The Turkish event has returned to the Montgomerie course for a first occasion since 2015 but with MacIntyre making his debut on the tight tree-lined layout.

He said:  “I’ve never played here before. I played a Challenge Tour event out here at nearby Gloria course, so this is another new track for me this year.

“The three weeks remaining, is a dream run and it’s getting to the point where it’s feeling normal, this is the level I’m playing at now.

“That’s how you have to look at it and try to play to that level every week. I feel I’m doing a decent job of maintaining my level of performance. Rather than it dipping and going up and down, it’s been pretty consistent.”

Joining MacIntyre is fellow Scots Richie Ramsay and the very fortunate Tartan duo of Scott Jamieson and David Drysdale.

The $7m event was intended for the top-70 on the Race to Dubai but with the non-appearance of many atop of the rankings, the cut-off point for entries was set at the No. 85 player.

It meant Jamieson at No. 74 and the 84th ranked Drysdale get to tee-up in the no-cut event.

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