As he prepares to partner Paul Casey in the final group of tomorrow’s Dubai Desert Classic, Robert MacIntyre says his confidence is “as high as it’s ever been”.
The young Scot trails Englishman Casey by just one shot with 18 holes left to play at the Emirates Golf Club.
MacIntyre, 24, carded a five-under 67 to get to 14-under after three rounds and perfectly positioned to claim his second European Tour title.
And despite Casey’s superior experience and considerable pedigree, the Oban man insists he won’t be daunted when the two of them go toe-to-toe in the gulf on Sunday.
“I'm not going to hang about,” said MacIntyre. “I'm going to put it all on the line whether it's good or bad. Hopefully, it's going to be good and I've just got to enjoy it again. It's another experience that I want to get. It's something that not many people get the chance at my age to do, and I'll give it everything I've got.”
MacIntyre has previously admitted that he struggled for form, motivation and confidence at the height of the tour’s COVID-19 lockdown last year. Thankfully, those issues appear to be behind him.
“I'm driving it great,” he added. “3-wood, 5-wood, new clubs in the bag, they have been absolutely brilliant. I really am striking my irons as well as I struck it late last year.
“Today, I was patient, and committed to every shot. That's something I struggled with last year. But this year, it's been drilled into me by many people: accept what comes. Just control what you can control. And it's working well.”
Victory in Dubai would catapult MacIntyre well inside the world’s top-50 for the first time in his career and would earn him both a cheque for more than half a million dollars and plenty of invaluable Ryder Cup points.
He would also take his place alongside some of the greats of the game – Tiger Woods, Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els and Rory McIlroy – in winning the Dubai Desert Classic.
However, perhaps sensibly, he’s refusing to dwell on any of that.
“It would be unbelievable but there’s still a long way to go, 18 holes. I'm just focused on the tee shot off the first tomorrow."