Robert MacIntyre says that he is finishing 2021 feeling good about his game after a strong display in last week’s DP World Tour Championship.
The 25-year-old has, by his own admission, endured an up-and-down year but saw enough in the European Tour season finale to give him renewed optimism heading into 2022.
MacIntyre finished in a tie for fourth in Dubai, four shots behind winner Collin Morikawa. That was his best finish since coming third in the Dubai Desert Classic in January.
In between times, he finished a hugely impressive T12 on his Masters debut, defeated the then world No.1 Dustin Johnson in the WGC-Dell Technologies Matchplay, and contended deep into the back nine of The Open at Royal St George’s.
Since the latter, however, he has struggled to find his best form, a sequence of disappointing finishes concluding with an 82 in round four of the Portugal Masters.
“That’s the worst I’ve ever felt coming away from a golf tournament,” he admitted.
That, in turn, prompted a decision to start working with ‘Performance Coach’ Stuart Morgan who, MacIntyre says, has helped bring peace and focus back to his game.
“Last week in Dubai, my head was calm,” he said. “It’s the most calm I’ve been on a golf course in a year-and-a-half. It was just good to compete again. It was a massive confidence boost just to know that I haven’t lost my game completely.”
For that reason, the Oban man is excited about what 2022 might bring – even if he’s not yet certain where it might bring it.
“It’s all a bit up in the air right now,” he conceded. “I’m back in that position just outside the world’s top-50 and it’s been difficult with COVID trying to get family and friends out to events, so hopefully [as that changes] it’ll be a lot easier for me to compete and be more comfortable.
“But you’ve got to be playing the PGA Tour. Everybody has the same dream of being the best player in the world and I’m no different.”
Asked to pinpoint the single biggest thing he’s learned about himself this year, MacIntyre – who will play the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa before taking time out over the festive period – added: “That I can compete at the top, top table. The Matchplay is a big reason for that. At The Open, I felt like I had a chance to win it. At The Masters, I felt like I could have finished in the top five. There’s so much to take from this year.”