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Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre remains on course for a place in the last 16 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship after a halved match with world No.1 Dustin Johnson.

The 24-year-old, who dispatched of five-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Na on day one in Texas, was more than a match for Johnson, the 2017 champion. 

It is to MacIntyre’s credit, indeed, that he can feel disappointed by the outcome, Johnson having to play his last three holes in three-under-par to salvage something from the contest.

However, the result keeps him in with a great chance of advancing out of the group, with another American, Adam Long, next up for the Oban man on Friday.

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“He holed putts when he had to hole putts,” said MacIntyre. “He does that to win numerous majors. I’m young. I’ve got plenty of time ahead of me. Obviously, I was dying to win that match. I was in such a great position to do it. But he threw everything at me, and I can be proud of finishing there all square. 

“Obviously, inside, I’m a little disappointed not to win. But once we walk away from here and get in the car and drive back to the house, it’s going to be, you know what, I can compete with the best guys on the planet.

MacIntyre added that he gave himself a pep talk before heading to the first tee for arguably the biggest head-to-head of his career to date.

“I was like, you’re the underdog, you’re taking on the best player on the planet, just go out there and fight, fight until the end and see what happens. It showed. He had to fight for everything that he got in the end, and I can be proud of what I’m doing, and I feel that my golf game is good enough to be competing out here.”

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“I haven’t had my golf game for the last kind of three-and-a-half weeks, but this week it showed up. I’ve got my coach out. We worked hard at Sawgrass last week. We played a lot of holes in practice this week. It’s really shown. I’m committing to every golf shot I’ve got in front of me. My tee-to-green game is finally back, and I’m putting it well.

“Just now I’m playing some of the best golf I’ve played in a long time, and that’s how I want to play.”

Meanwhile, Johnson, whose Masters defence gets underway in a fortnight, admitted he relieved to escape from the tussle with a half-point.

“It was a tough match,” admitted the 37-year-old. “Obviously the conditions today were a little bit more difficult with the wind. Ended up making a really good halve, and definitely pleased with it.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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