Just an hour and a half after his PGA Championship disappointment Robert MacIntyre was “over it” and not even worried about no longer being golf’s top-ranked left-hander.
Phil Mickelson’s PGA Championship victory vaulted him back over Robert MacIntyre as the top lefty in the world rankings, but despite the young Scot admitting on Sunday he was “livid” with his performance at Kiawah Island, perspective soon took hold.
“Phil’s overtaken me in style, if you ask me,” said MacIntyre, in Denmark for this week’s European Tour Made In Himmerland event. “It was some win he had, to be fair. Hats off.
“I’m just trying to play my golf. I keep one eye on the World Rankings, being top lefty was nice while I had it. But I’m still young. I’ve got plenty of years to come.
“I probably need to lower my expectations a bit. They are so high in myself: nobody else puts that on me, it’s just me.
‘Sometimes I need to relax a bit more’
"What a break that was!" 🗑
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“I expect so much to happen in a short space of time. Sometimes I need to sit back, relax a bit more.
“The finish (at Kiawah) wasn’t the way I wanted to finish. But the stats show we’re in the right place, doing the right things. It’s about staying patient and letting things happen.
“I’m over-enthusiastic when it comes to certain things, I just need to calm it down a little bit and let it be.
“At the course I’m a bit more uptight and wanting to do well. Once I get away, give me an hour and a half, no matter the result, I’m pretty chilled out.
“On the flight over I went to sleep straight away and woke up with 20 minutes to go before arriving in Amsterdam. Once I’m away from the course, I don’t worry about it.”
‘You’ve got to earn the respect’
MacIntyre came close to his breakthrough win in Denmark two years ago, losing by a stroke to Bernd Weisberger, who has since become a good friend.
“Last time I was a bit disappointed, the 17th hole cost me the tournament. Thankfully the 17th has been changed this year, so there’s a positive.
“I can ask Bernd anything – for advice and whatnot, if I need it. Now I’m trying to beat him every week. Before I was trying to find my feet and almost gain respect from these guys.
“I feel like with the top players, you’ve got to earn the respect. You’re not just given it. Some guys will walk past and don’t bat an eyelid. Playing against them and putting in good performances, it makes them realise ‘he’s not kidding on here, he’s here to compete’. I
“I feel like that’s how I gained Bernd’s respect, going toe-to-toe with him and putting up a fight.”
Maturity since the close call in 2018
He feels that his game has matured in the last two years to give him a chance in every event he plays.
“My actual golf game hasn’t really changed much, I’ve just matured as a golfer,” he said.
“I’ve got Mike (Thomson) on the bag now, so it’s a different outlook on things. When we are in contention I’ve got more maturity around what we’re trying to do and more conviction.
“Mike has been brilliant. He brings more calm and he’s the same attitude as me and everyone around me, from Stoddy (manager Iain Stoddart), my parents, everybody.
“He’s been through some stuff before, but we’re here now and not scared to take anyone on.”