There will be no post-Ryder Cup rest for Robert MacIntyre who has immediately turned his attentions to returning to the top 50 of the world rankings.
The Oban golfer, who helped Europe defeat the United States in Rome at the weekend, is in the field for this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship which is held at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a dream week in Italy by delivering 2.5 points from his three matches but MacIntyre has set his sights on building on a memorable week by climbing the world rankings.
The Scot is 55th in the world with the top 50 on January 1 earning an exemption to the 2024 Masters at Augusta.
MacIntyre, who reached a career-high 42nd in the rankings in 2021, said: “For me, the main goal is top-50 in the world by Christmas.
“That’s pretty much my only goal now – and it’s very much achievable.
“It’s very close. I just need to set my own points to achieve that.
“This week is about trying to win the Dunhill Links.
“It’s business as usual when I come to a golf tournament.
“I know my golf has been up-and-down for the last wee while but there’s been a lot of stress going on in the background with the Ryder Cup and getting on that team.
“But now I feel like I can just cruise around and play aggressive golf.”
American opportunities on horizon
MacIntyre is also on track to land one of 10 PGA Tour cards on offer for DP World Tour players this year as part of the strategic alliance between the tours.
The left-hander, who sits in sixth position with six events remaining, was asked whether playing in America is among his ambitions.
He said: “Yeah, it would be.
“There’s so much going on just now, I’m just trying to put it to the back of my mind.
“I know a lot of things that potentially could happen.
“I actually had that conversation about it with my Mum yesterday.
“I was saying how I think I’ve got to do certain things to get to that next level.
“Because she was asking ‘What’s your strategy now?’
“It’s like, how do we achieve this? I know inside what I need to do.
“But it’s a lot. I enjoy family time and I enjoy home life.
“I don’t know whether that’s the be-all and end-all.
“I need to weigh it all up with the team around me.”
Despite the physical and mental exertions of the past week, MacIntyre is confident there is plenty left in the tank as he bids to follow in the footsteps of Paul Lawrie, Stephen Gallacher and Colin Montgomerie as home winners of the Dunhill Links.
MacIntyre, who tees off at Carnoustie at 9.44am on Thursday, said: “It was my first Ryder Cup and I don’t know what this week is going to bring but my energy levels are actually relatively high.
“I just need to find the motivation now.
“I’ll go out there, practise, see how the game is, and then I’m sure when I’m in battle, the motivation will be high.”
A dream pairing
MacIntyre, meanwhile, said he will always be grateful to Justin Rose for being the perfect partner on his Ryder Cup debut.
The pair fought back to earn half a point against Max Homa and Wyndham Clark on day one in the fourballs before teaming up to defeat Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth the following day.
MacIntyre, who won his singles match on Sunday against Wyndham Clark, said: “Justin was incredible the whole week.
“He was someone who I knew I got along with, but I now know him on a different level.
“On the first tee on Friday, he saw I was nervous.
“I was almost crying walking off the range.
“But when we had done all the TV cameras and all that, he comes over put his arm around me and goes ‘Everything is going to be all right. This will be over in two-and-a-half minutes.’
“He was brilliant. He’s so experienced. He kept me calm. He trusted me. He believed in me. Even though I was terrible on the green on Friday.
“I think he spoke to Luke and said: ‘He’s close.’
“And I felt that tee-to-green I was solid. I was never out of a hole. I was never making a disaster. I was almost allowing him to be more aggressive because he was playing so well.
“Then on the Saturday, he just kept believing in me.
“I still had not made a putt for 12 holes, and I stood on 13, and he was trying to help me read the putt.
“I was like, ‘Justin, it’s all right. I got this one.’
“And once I holed that, he put his arm around me and said: ‘That’s what it’s all about. We fight together.’”