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Oban golfer and Masters debutant Bob MacIntyre was in dreamland last Sunday after a 12th place finish secured him a spot in next year’s tournament.
Bob, an honorary member of Machrihanish Golf Club, signed off on the 18th green with one final, momentous birdie to finish with a level par 72 and guarantee a return visit to the Augusta National in 2022.
Speaking to Sky Sports after his round, Bob said: ‘I have played great for my first year and tried to manage my way around a golf course that I have never seen and only played on computer games with my pals, so it is completely different being here in the battle.’
He later reflected on his birdie putt on the final hole: ‘The buzz I got when I holed that putt and then to have gone in and seen the scores and where I’ve finished, it’s just everything you want as a kid and we’ve done it.’
The 24-year-old had to dig deep on Sunday after a shaky start saw him three over after six holes, but back-to-back birdies at eight and nine followed by a brilliant two at the notoriously difficult 12th hole got him back on track. A further birdie at 15 meant a top 10 finish was within his grasp before successive bogeys looked to have put paid to his chances of cementing a return visit to Georgia.
The left-hander then showed why Sky commentator Butch Harmon — former coach to Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson — announced ‘this kid’s special’ by holing a nerve-shredding 13-foot putt for birdie at the last.
His last hole heroics rounded off a brilliant week’s work where Bob followed up an opening 74 with a 70 on Friday to comfortably make the cut. With superstars such as Dustin Johnston and Rory McIlroy falling by the wayside, a second successive round of 70 on Saturday set up his grandstand finish on Sunday.
Bob has now competed in all four majors and has yet to miss a cut, with his 12th place at Augusta sitting nicely alongside his sixth place finish at the Open in 2019.
His finishing position was the highest by any Scot this century, overtaking Colin Montgomerie who finished 14th in 2002. It also moves him into serious contention for a Ryder Cup place later in the year, as well as securing him an invite to the RBC Heritage tournament on the PGA tour which starts next week.