Scots MacIntyre & Scott Reunite For Dream Winged Foot Tee Times.

In a dream U.S. Open debut Scots Robert MacIntyre and Sandy Scott will be reunited for the first time in four years for the opening two rounds at Winged Foot on New York’s Long Island

The pair were team-mates, and both as amateurs, when the six-man Scotland side successfully defended the 2016 European Team Championship in France.

Now they’re playing partners in the opening two rounds of the U.S. Open teeing-up later today (THURS) at 1.40pm (UK time) Thursday and then tomorrow (FRD) 7pm (UK time) Friday, and being joined by American Kurt Kitayama.

MacIntyre is Scotland’s top-ranked pro at 89th in the world and the Nairn-born Scott is ranked sixth on the world amateur rankings.

Scott, 22 is a senior at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and home town to rock-and-roll legend Buddy Holly, and got his U.S. Open call-up a month ago to join the Winged Foot field as one of the seven top amateurs in the world.

He contested the recent U.S. Amateur finishing just outside the top-30 while Scott made his one, and to date only, pro tournament debut at the 2017 Scottish Open at Dundonald Links but missing the cut.

The Scotland duo of Robert MacIntyre and Sandy Scott practicing ahead of this week’s US Open

He also was a member of last year’s GB & I Walker Cup team at Royal Liverpool but has put on hold a decision to turn pro until the completion later this year of his university studies in the Lone Star State.

Scott said: “I came out to Texas at the end of July then played the US Am and have been in Texas since that finished. I’m back at the uni. We started school two weeks ago and it is certainly different.

“I’m not in as many classes due to being in graduate school, where you don’t need to do as many classes to be eligible. It’s all online, so I am able to get out on the golf course more often.

“I had a rapid ‘goodbye’ and didn’t get the chance to see everybody before I headed for home earlier in the year when COVID-19 hit. It’s great to have the chance to come back and it’s been quite refreshing, really.

“So, getting into the U.S. Open has been a nice bonus and I’m looking forward to it. It was announced in June or July that the top seven non-exempt players on the World Amateur Golf Rankings would be getting into the field at Winged Foot and I was sitting eighth at the time.

“As I was there or thereabouts, that’s why I wanted to play in the U.S. Amateur to play my way into one of those spots and everything worked out well in the end after I had a solid tournament. I’ve been preparing for this week ever since.

“To play in a major has been a goal of mine since I started playing golf and I am really looking forward to it.”

Scott got his first look at Winged Foot on Monday and while he knows MacIntyre well, he’s also no stranger to many in the field including recent PGA Championship winner, Collin Morikawa and Norwegian sensation Viktor Hovland.

He said:  “Winged Foot is a great course and it’s going to be a very hard test.

“I have been looking into it a little bit of the history and I’ve heard some things about the 2006 US Open, though I didn’t know Monty came close to winning on that occasion.

Scotland’s winning 2016 European Team Championship winning side in France … Robert MacIntyre (Back row left) and Sandy Scott (Back row right) and with the third Scot teeing up this week being Connor Syme (middle front row).

“I feel ready to compete and that’s my goal. I’ve been playing in plenty of top-level amateur events the last couple of years to have a good understanding of what the level of play is going to be like, especially with guys transitioning from college golf to professional.

“I’ve played with plenty of these guys, so I’ve got a good idea of how it is going to be. I’ll be prepared as best as I can and hopefully that will help me play as best as I can.

“I played with Collin Morikawa a couple of times at college events as our colleges crossed paths on schedules every now and again.

“He’s obviously done extremely well since going on to the tour and it gives me a good idea of what to expect.

“I’ve also known Viktor Hovland for a long time. We played against each other in the Jacques Leglise Trophy a few years back at Royal Dornoch.

“We are a similar age and played plenty of events together over the years and it’s also great to see him doing well on the PGA Tour.

“My goal is to be playing where they are. That’s what I am working towards and I hope to be ready when that opportunity comes around.”

And while Scott has been used to playing in front of hardly any fans, he’s backing on the support of family and friends back in Nairn and also at Texas Tech for their support.

He said:  “It will be different having no crowds and I would certainly love to have had people here supporting me. But I know there is plenty of support back home and also at Texas Tech and I will be trying to represent everyone in the best manner possible.

“It’s been great also to catch-up with Bob (MacIntyre) and Connor (Syme) as we’ve had a practice round together and that was great fun.

“It’s cool to be playing in such a big event together and it will have a more homely feel than it would if they weren’t playing. It is pretty cool to see where we are all now in our careers.

“I hear Bob says he calls me a teuchter, which is very rich for a boy from Oban (laughing).”

Scott will have his Texas Tech coach, Greg Sands, acting as caddy, and with Scott declaring it to be his biggest event since qualifying for the 2017 Scottish Open.

He added:  “This week is my biggest event since Dundonald in 2017. I feel I am better physically and technically and certainly mentally, so I feel better prepared for this test.

“I found it difficult to focus on the tournament that week as there were a lot of flashy things going on around me. It certainly helped shape the rest of my amateur career and I hope to use that experience to good effect this week.

“I’m just going to Winged Foot to compete. I don’t necessarily want to say I have an outcome in mind. I am going to try and win but, at the same time, don’t have any expectations.”

Syme, and the third Scot in the field, will tee-up in his first U.S. major in the last group on day one at 7.12pm (UK) but out earlier at 1.51pm (UK time) Friday.

Joining the Drumoig golfer will be Frenchman Paul Barjon and American Marty Jertson.

Barjon, who was born in New Caledonia, earned his place in capturing a Korn Ferry Tour qualifying event in Portland, Oregon while Jertson finished among the top 3 points leaders in the 2019 PGA Professional Player of the Year standings.

 

 

 

 



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