Robert MacIntyre has revealed that splitting with his caddie Greg Milne was “one of the hardest decisions” of his life but believes that the time was right.
MacIntyre, 24, called time on his working relationship with Irishman Milne following the US Open at Winged Foot, having worked with him since he turned professional in 2017.
The reigning European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ has since teamed up with fellow Scot Mikey Thompson, who caddied for Brooks Koepka when the American won the Scottish Hydro Challenge in 2013.
The duo will make their first appearance together in this week’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance.
“I just felt like the time was right,” said MacIntyre. “Me and Greg had a good, what, two years, two and a half years and came from the Challenge Tour together.
“We’re great mates. It was just the time was right to change. Not just for me but for Greg. The two of us were, I don't know, almost getting stagnant in what we were doing. We almost spent too much time together. I think that was one of the problems.
“I'm at a level or a stage in my career that I can go two ways; you can either go back into the pack or you can take off and get into the top 50 in the world, top 30s. That's obviously where I want to be. I don't want to be just in a pack. I want to be a standout. I want to be up there competing in majors. So that's one of the reasons I've got Mikey on the bag.”
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Milne has already picked up a new bag in the form of rising English star Toby Tree. Even so, MacIntyre admits that it was tough to let him go.
“It’s not nice at all to do it,” he added. “It's one of the hardest decisions I've ever done in my life. But it's my job and my business. If I don't perform, I've not got a job. Greg will always be able to pick up a bag. At the end of the day, it's my job that's on the line, so I just felt like it was something that I needed to do to just try and take the next step.
“I need more experience and Greg needs more experience. Me and Greg had a great chat when we parted company. We’re still close mates. He messages me all the time. I message him. It’s one of those things where we're going to be mates. Down the line, I'm sure we'll be back together, but for now it's Mikey is the man for the job I feel.
“For me, it's like any other sport, like football, shinty, whatever. If something is not going well, you've got to change it to try and get different momentum, and that's pretty much one of the reasons I've done it, just to try and get something different, try and see a different angle on it.”
MacIntyre and Thompson have defending champion Bernd Wiesberger and Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood for company in the opening two rounds of this week's Scottish Open.