Robert MacIntyre rose to the pressure to secure a Ryder Cup place – which he hopes will stand him in good stead for his Team Europe debut later this month.
MacIntyre claimed automatic qualification for Luke Donald’s team, having finished 107 points ahead of nearest challenger Yannik Paul from Germany at the conclusion of the Omega European Masters in Switzerland last weekend.
The Oban golfer is among four rookies in the 12-strong European team, with the event starting on September 30 at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club on the outskirts of Rome.
MacIntyre will be the first Scot to play in the Ryder Cup since Stephen Gallacher played his part in a European triumph at Gleneagles in 2014.
The 27-year-old expects the pressure will be like nothing he has faced before, but he is confident he can take it in his stride when the tournament comes around.
MacIntyre said: “I’ve tried not to think about it. I’ve spoken to a few people who said it took them over a minute to actually get the ball to sit on a tee.
“I’m quite a cool character, but I’m sure it’ll take me a wee minute to get the ball to sit on the tee nicely.
“I can’t wait to experience it and, hopefully, it is the first of many.
“You have got to accept the pressure at the Ryder Cup is going to be a higher, but different pressure.
“It was always like Luke was trying to see how I reacted in Prague and I thought I did well until the 16th hole.
— Robert MacIntyre (@robert1lefty) September 4, 2023
“Then I fought back well on Saturday and Sunday when I had to, but last week I was expecting the draw and the hype and everything.
“It is part of the chase to try and get into the team automatically. You just have to accept it. It’s going to happen every time.”
MacIntyre aiming to hit peak in time for Italy
MacIntyre has returned home to Oban, ahead of his next outing in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth next weekend.
Although he is relishing a brief period of downtime, he insists he will dial up his preparation in advance of the flight to Italy.
He added: “The next couple of days will be just trying to organise who is all going and then I’ll pass that to my management to get them there. It’s trying to work out who is going, who is going where, with my team.
“Obviously, it is a bit busy to start with, but after that, I need to work out what I am doing in the run-up with my schedule and whatnot.
“I’ll just do what I normally do, and chill out at home.
“I will probably put a wee bit more graft in because it’s such a special event to be part of.
“When I come home, I’m normally quite chilled out.
“I’ve had a couple of days off, but I’ll probably start playing some golf again these next few days.
“It’s just about building up to try and compete again. I want to try and peak for the Ryder Cup.”
Shinty off limits in coming weeks
MacIntyre is also a keen shinty player, and has been known to turn out for Oban Celtic during breaks from his schedule.
He will resist any temptation in the coming weeks, given what lies ahead.
MacIntyre added: “Unfortunately there will be no shinty.
“I was driving home from the Open and speaking to people in the car and we decided that if I played shinty and got injured, and got in the team and was unable to play, I’d never live it down.
“I’d regret it for the rest of my life. I’ve not touched a stick. I’ll go to training but just to watch and chat with the boys.
“I can’t risk it. There’s too much to lose. This is the best thing that’s happened in my career. It’s a risk that’s not worth taking.”