Robert MacIntyre will keep his record of making the cut in every major he’s played in at the 149th Open, but it needed him “putting like a kid” for a final hole birdie to do it.
The 24-year-old Scot had toiled for much of the second day, starting brilliantly with a kick-in birdie at the first. But he didn’t build on that with the occasional loose shot – two in the waste area at the fifth – and a handful of missed chances. That meant it was all-or-nothing down 18.
“I’m like a roller coaster when I’m on a course,” he said. “My heart rate is up and down, you can see if I’m getting anxious or I’m going at things.
“It’s just about me getting to a point where I can enjoy it. I loved the end there where it just has to be done, when you have no option but to take the shots on. Thankfully it worked out today.”
‘I knew exactly what was going on’
An afternoon wait now to make sure it's enough to make it 7 cuts from 7 major appearances🤞🏼
— Bounce (@bouncespmgt) July 16, 2021
He holed his six-footer for birdie on the last with a fist-pump, knowing that was likely to be the mark, even if he had to wait some hours for it to be wholly confirmed.
“I knew exactly what was going on, I was watching every leaderboard coming in. I finally let go of everything that was going on and hit a putt on the last.
“It’s funny, I do it when I hit drives, irons, wedges. I don’t think of anything, I just swing the club and it produces good shots. I’ve been trying to do it with the putter as well.
“When everything is on the line you can’t think about anything. I just had a blank head there, I just putted like a kid. It was a beautiful putt.”
‘I was getting a bit agitated today’
A year ago and a half ago, he “couldn’t miss” on the greens, he said.
“I was getting a bit agitated today,” he continued. “You could see I got too aggressive and started dragging the putts. I wasn’t letting it happen.
“Mike kept saying ‘be patient, let it happen, let it happen’. He must have said that about 50 times over the last six holes. He sees putts steaming by, they are not even having a look, they are always on the high side. But we stayed patient, hit some good shots coming in and got our reward.”
He could have “stolen a few more”, he thought – he had birdie putts on 3, 4, 6 and 7 that slid by the hole early on – but prdies himself on keeping fighting.
“That is me,” he added. “Whether I’m playing golf or shinty it’s a never say die attitude. It’s the only way I know how to survive, just to fight for it. If I lose that, then I lose my golf game. That is me, that’s my golf game; fighting.
“If anything, I’m over-trying just now. I want to find something that just lets me free it up.
“It’s not like I have a huge problem, they’re decent putts but they’re just not going in the hole at the moment. I just need to get that freedom back and just go with it.”
‘That’s what pushes me’
The fans today 😍 👏
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) July 15, 2021
This will be a work-on for some time, he believes, but he’s confident he’ll find the freedom to play his best golf.
“I do demand a lot of myself, but I like that. That’s what pushes me,” he said.
“My mum is the most laid-back person in the world. And my dad is laid-back but he sees it and he tells me it straight.
“That’s the same for everyone in my team. They aren’t gonna blow smoke up my tail!
“If I’m not working hard enough, they’ll tell me. If I’m working too hard, doing too much, they’ll tell me to pull it back a bit.
“I know the things I have to work on for however long my golf career lasts. But we’ve got plans in place to do that. It’s just about giving it time and giving it everything I’ve got.”