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It’s been 25 years since a Scottish male won a major championship.

Catriona Matthew claimed the Women’s Open in 2009, of course, but, as far as the men’s game goes, the trophy trail is bare all the back to Paul Lawrie’s Open triumph at Carnoustie in 1999

Robert MacIntyre has a chance – a very good chance – to end that drought on Sunday.

The 27-year-old carded a five-under 66 on Saturday at Valhalla to vault into contention for the PGA Championship.

Eighteen holes are all that stand between the Oban man and success on one of the sport’s biggest stages, a stage that, so far, has eluded golfers playing under the Scottish flag.

Indeed, whilst the Masters, the US Open and the Open all feature a Scottish winner on their honour boards, the PGA Championship does not.

St Andrews-born Jock Hutchison won the third edition of the event in 1920 but he did so as a naturalised American citizen after emigrating to the States prior to World War I.

Victory for MacIntyre on Sunday, at the expense of some of the sport’s biggest names, would be the first for a Scot representing Scotland.

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Pressure? Of course there’s pressure. But he’s ready for it.

“The only reason there’s pressure is because you care so much,” he said after his round. “It’s only because you care about what you’re doing, the position that you’re in.

“But it’s fun. It’s part of it. It’s new in an individual event, the pressure.

“Obviously the Ryder Cup was a bit more severe but I had teammates to back me up. This time it’s me and Mike, my caddie.

“We’re out there fighting as much as we can, but I’m going to get nervous tomorrow. I’m going to be nervous tonight. But all I can do is try my best, and that’s honestly as much as I try and say it to myself, that’s all I can do is just try my best and see where we end up.

“If I’m in with a chance, I’m in with a chance, and then we may start think about winning a golf tournament.

“But until about probably the 68th hole I’m going to try and just play golf, and then at the 68th hole I have to maybe think about what I’m doing.”

The key on Sunday, according to MacIntyre, will be accepting the outcome of his shots, keeping his cool and staying patient.

“We don’t try and hit bad golf shots,” he added. “We’re trying to hit good golf shots. But I’m not a robot.

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“I’m going to hit bad ones. I’m going to mis-hit them. But everyone is going to do it. It’s just about accepting it and going and dealing with a shot.

“I’ve got all the tools to deal with whatever shot I’ve got. So as long as I don’t get angry or really down on myself, then as long as I’ve still got the fine touches in my hands, then I can play any golf shot I really want to, depending on how it comes off.

“I’m just out here trying to enjoy myself as much as I can. As boring as it may be for you guys, I’m just really trying to enjoy myself.

“The last three days have been great. The golf course is a great test, long, tough golf course, but I’m playing nicely.

“Just play golf.”

Just play golf. And, potentially, become the latest major champion from the country that gave birth to this daft, maddening, brilliant game.

People of Oban, clear your diaries for Sunday.

People of Scotland, clear your diaries.

The stars may just be aligning.

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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