By his own admission, Robert MacIntyre’s major championship debut was “a dream come true”.
But just how special was the Oban 22-year-old’s performance at Royal Portrush?
The people at The 15th Club may have come up with the most compelling answer.
The golf data and analysis experts – an integral part of recent Ryder Cup teams – have gone digging through the archives and discovered that, by finishing in a tie for sixth in Northern Ireland, MacIntyre is the first player from Scotland to finish inside the top-10 on his Open debut since Andrew Kirkcaldy in 1879.
Robert Macintyre would be the first player from Scotland to finish top-10 in his #TheOpen debut since Andrew Kirkaldy in 1879.— 15th Club (@15thClub) July 21, 2019
The Glencruitten rookie has also climbed to 102nd on the OWGR – up from 146th last week – whilst the €277,950 he banked for his week’s work has bounced him up to 14th on the Race To Dubai.
Could he become Scotland’s first European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ since Marc Warren in 2006? If he maintains this kind of form, he’ll be in with a helluva chance.
In an extraordinary coincidence, he also emulated the debut of a true Open legend on the same course sixty-eight years earlier, as former Australian golf professional Mike Clayton pointed out.
T6. Matching Peter Thomson’s Open debut on the same course 68 years ago.— Mike Clayton (@MichaelClayto15) July 22, 2019
Thomson, of course, went on to win the championship five times.