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Robert MacIntyre parts with ‘brother’ Davie Burns to push forward in the biggest two weeks of his career

Robert MacIntyre had to make a tough decision with one of his long-time team members.
Robert MacIntyre had to make a tough decision with one of his long-time team members.

Robert MacIntyre’s parting of the ways with long-time coach Davie Burns was like parting with a brother, but the young Scots star feels it was a necessary move.

Burns had been MacIntyre’s swing coach for seven years and he was a key part of Bob’s close-knit team that has been so central to his early successes. Now Bob’s working with new coach Simon Shanks as he prepares for the Genesis Scottish Open at The Renaissance.

But something had to give in a frustrating recent run for the 25-year-old from Oban, and it was time for a change.

‘Everywhere I went, he went’

“I was with Davie for six, seven years,” he said. “We had so many phone calls before it happened and I knew it was going to be hard.

“Davie is like a brother, if I’m being honest. Everywhere I went, he went.”

But no matter how close you are, sometimes you have to make these tough decisions, he continued.

“It was good in a way and possibly a bad thing in a way as well,” he said. “This is a job I’m doing, it’s a business I’m running. I am trying to be the best I can be at this sport.”

The Scottish two years ago was where Bob made the switch from caddie Greg Milne to Fifer Mike Thomson, and that was a  similar difficult decision.

“When Greg and I parted ways it was hard, sometimes you don’t know where you’re going,” he said. “After the first tournament without Davie in Germany I thought: ‘Am I doing the right things here?’

“But I don’t take decisions lightly, they’re always calculated. And I feel for now I have made the right decision. I have spoken to Davie about it.

“We still message each other. It all ended the right way. I spoke to him about it, and I could go back to Davie tomorrow if I phoned him up, I’m sure.”

‘I felt the buzz back’

The signs were there in Ireland that it was the right decision, he said.

“I was doing the same thing and I wanted to change the results,” he said. “Last week in Ireland I felt the buzz back. Sunday I felt, ‘we’re back in a golf tournament’. It’s been a while since I felt like that.

“Not much has changed. It’s just a different voice telling me something, a different way of saying it.”

The next two weeks, here at The Renaissance and the Open at St Andrews, are the “two biggest of my career”, added Bob. So the chaos going on around golf with LIV, suspensions and appeals, and the bickering on the range is of no interest to him.

“I don’t really know the ins and outs of what’s going on,” he said. “I can only control where I play golf and that’s going to be on the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. That’s where I feel comfortable and that’s where I’ll be playing.

“There’s carrots dangling everywhere you go in the world. But where are the best players in the world playing?

“This week the best are at the Scottish Open and I want to compete against the best, no matter where it is.

“Right now that’s the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.”

‘You’ve now got a pathway to the strongest fields’

And the PGA Tour cards to ten players in the Race to Dubai is definitely of interest to him, after he spent much of the last two years chasing one.

“That changes my plan quite a bit,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for myself, especially, 25-year-old, and you’ve got a pathway to the strongest fields in golf.

“To me, everybody strives to play against the best players in the world. Right now the best players in the world play the PGA TOUR. The alliance gives us an opportunity to get there.

“I’ll never forget where I came from and you never forget where you started championship golf. But for me it’s an absolute brilliant opportunity going forward for the rest of the season.

“I haven’t worked out a schedule beyond next week, there’s too much going on right now. After that, we’ll decide if we go Hillside (for the Cazoo Classic) or what we do going forward.”

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