Robert MacIntyre in confident mood ahead of Masters debut

Bob Macintyre And Mike Thomson

You have to go back to 1979 for the last time a golfer won The Masters on their debut. Scotland's Robert MacIntyre is hopeful he can break that duck this week.

The Oban man is gearing up to make his first appearance in the opening men's major of the season and, speaking ahead of his final practice round this morning, he insisted that he is going into the tournament with the same goal as everybody else - to win.

"Obviously, it's my first time so you're not really expecting too much but I'm there to compete," said the 24-year-old. "I'm there to give myself a chance to win on the Sunday and, if I can play the way I know I can play, I don't see why not. 

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"If I wasn't here to try to win a golf tournament then I'd be sitting at home in Oban. I wouldn't be trying to compete out here and probably wouldn't be playing golf.

"Every single player in this field is wanting to try and win the golf tournament and obviously there's only one winner so there's going to be, what, 88 guys that are going to be disappointed. But it's not really disappointment because you're learning and, for me, I'm going to be learning a lot. 

I'm going to just try to enjoy it as much as I can and soak it all in and what will be, will be."

Robert Macintyre

The 2019 European Tour 'Rookie of the Year' - who is planning to wear a black ribbon this week in honour of Scottish golf writer and fellow Argyll man Jock MacVicar - revealed that he has been gleaning some course insights from 2018 champion Patrick Reed.

The pair struck up an immediate friendship when they were paired in Turkey during MacIntyre's first season on the European Tour and played the front nine together yesterday.

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"He's been great with me," added MacIntyre. "Anything that I need to ask him, I can ask him and he gives me advice. He's got not a bad record around this place and he obviously knows where and where not to go. Just little hidden things that me and [caddie] Mike [Thomson] didn't have a clue about, he just told us little secrets that are great and we're going to use them this week."

Appearing on The bunkered Podcast last week, MacIntyre - who has been joined in Augusta this week by his parents - said that he was keen to get to see how the course 'suited his eye'. 

Good news. It suits it very well.

"The definition of the golf course is unbelievable," he said. "You can see shots which is massive for me. I like to be able to see the shot shape that's required. As everybody knows, it's absolutely stunning. It's just about me going and hitting the golf shots and, if I can do that, we'll have a good week."

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It would be easy for MacIntyre to walk around pinching himself this week after fulfilling what he openly admits is "a little boy's dream". However, it speaks to his character and competitive nature that he will be doing no such thing.

"At the end of the day, I've worked hard to get where I am. It's not something where I've woken up one morning and got lucky. I've worked hard. It what's we do. It's part of the job. It's obviously really special to be here but I work my ass off every time I'm practising. It's not by luck, this. It's by hard work." 

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