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Colin Montgomerie has heaped praise on Robert MacIntyre, insisting that his fellow Scot has “all the attributes” to make it to the very top of the game.
MacIntyre, 24, is currently in the US where he is gearing up to play in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational ahead of a debut in next week’s PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass.
By virtue of his world ranking, the 2019 European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ is also perfectly placed to make his Masters debut next month. Assuming he’s still inside the world’s top-50 at the end of the month – he’s currently 43rd – an invite to Augusta National will be winging its way from Georgia to Oban.
Montgomerie has been tracking MacIntyre’s development from afar and the eight-time European Tour No.1 is hugely impressed by what he has seen.
Speaking during last weekend’s virtual Scottish Golf Show, he said: “I was watching the Dubai Desert Classic last month and, knowing Paul Casey and how long he is off the tee, I was very surprised that Robert was up with him if not past him. That, to me, suggests that this young man can go with this. He has the power. It’s the greatest asset in golf right now.
“He also has a superb temperament. Again, in that round with Paul Casey in Dubai, he missed a very short putt on the eighth hole and then hit it in the water at nine and missed the green with his approach shot, so there was a double-bogey coming. No, no. Not for Robert. He holed that putt at the ninth for a five, punched the air and I thought, ‘Good on you mate.’
“He not only has the power but the mentality to go a long way and of course we’re very excited – even though he plays the game backwards!”
As well as a potential Masters debut next month, MacIntyre is also well placed to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team later this year.
He is currently just outside the automatic qualification spots and Montgomerie, who is inexorably linked to the match, admits that he would be closely monitoring his efforts if he was in skipper Padraig Harrington’s shoes.
“If I was the captain just now, I would be right on his radar looking at every score that he posts,” he added.
“He certainly has all the attributes to make and, personally, in a Scottish sense, I’m very excited by it and let’s hope he can get in that Ryder Cup team. It might not be this year. It might not be ’21. But, if it’s not, I’m sure it’ll be ’23 and that’ll be great.”
Colin Montgomerie was speaking at the virtual Scottish Golf Show. The entire show is available to browse and view on demand – for FREE – until March 31, 2021.
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