MacIntyre Produces Timely Return To Form In Prague

Top Scot Robert MacIntyre produced a timely return to form to also keep alive his Ryder Cup selection hopes with a rousing 66 on the opening day of the Czech Masters.

MacIntyre posted a bogey-free round to be sharing fourth place and just three shots adrift of Finland’s Sami Valimaki who heads the field with a sizzling nine-under 63 on the Albatross Resort course in Prague.

The Oban lefty capped his round in very hot conditions with birdies at his opening two holes and also at his closing pair in a welcome return after missing the cut in last week’s event in Northern Ireland.

MacIntyre said: “I’m delighted with the round. I played reasonably solid. I was hoping for that after last week. I played just to try and get the rust off because I knew how important these two were.

“I felt like I drove it well, iron play was good and I putted decent. Overall, decent.

“I love driving the golf ball and here I feel free. I’m not enclosed or jammed in with trees. It’s got a linksy kind of feel to it, it’s open and you can let rip with the driver. I do enjoy giving the driver an old skelp.”

MacIntyre arrived in the Czech capital lying third on the European Ryder Cup points list, and with the leading three at the close of competition on Sunday September 3rd at the European Masters, to earn automatic Rome selection.

It means MacIntyre only has to hold onto his current third place standing to become the first Scot since Stevie Gallacher in 2014 to tee-up in a Ryder Cup.

Also shooting a 66 was Germany’s Yannick Paul and lying one place behind MacIntyre in sixth on the ‘European’ table.

Not so good news for Ireland’s Open Champion Shane Lowry, teeing-up in the Czech Republic with a goal of impressing European captain Luke Donald.

Lowry, and a member of the losing 2021 European Team, produced a no frills 71 and at a respective 10th on the ‘European’ points table and 8th on the ‘World’ table he’s going to need a Donald pick if he’s to be on the charter flight to the Italian capital.

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