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The whole nation was glued to their TV screens. Robert MacIntyre, looking for his first PGA Tour victory, put the whole UK – in particular the five million north of Hadrian’s Wall – through the wringer during the final round of the Canadian Open.

Justin Rose, who expertly mentored MacIntyre through his Ryder Cup debut in Rome, had already sent his best wishes as the Scot prepared to take a four-shot lead into the final round of the Canadian Open, while Rory McIlroy, who made a late charge at the title he won in 2019 and 2022, wished his “good friend” luck in his post-round interview.

Ultimately, a combination of expert iron play and good old fashioned grit and determination saw the 27-year-old hold off a birdie surge from playing partner Ben Griffin to win by a single stroke at Hamilton Country Club.

The calming presence of having dad, Dougie, on the bag will have helped, too.

Amanda Balionis, Robert MacIntyre, Dougie MacIntyre
Emotions were high during Robert MacIntyre’s post-round interview with Amanda Balionis. (Credit: Getty Images)

There was, as you can imagine, an outpouring of emotion on the back of the 18th green.

“I didn’t think it was possible,” he told CBS reporter Amanda Balionis through the tears. “It’s been a dream of mine to win on the PGA Tour and I just can’t believe I’ve done it with my dad on the bag.”

MacIntyre Sr was also struggling to hide his feelings.

“I’m a grass cutter, not a caddie!” the Glencruitten greenkeeper turned PGA Tour-winning caddie choked.

And it didn’t stop there. MacIntyre’s call home to his mum Carol and sister Nicola, watching back home in Oban, was captured by the PGA Tour social media team – and it was 52 seconds of pure joy.

“Winner, winner chicken dinner!” Carol screeched into her phone when she answered.

“Some caddie, eh?” her son replied. “Wow. Who would have thought?

“You might not see dad until next week from a bender!”

After teasing Carol for “being quiet for the first time in your life”, he told her how he plans to spend some of his bumper pay cheque.

“Guess what, mum?” he said. “That might be the mortgage paid off!”

It was a moment that made you realise just what this sort of achievement can mean for people like the MacIntyres – a salt-of-the-earth family from a delightful seaside town on Scotland’s west coast. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Even that was emphasised in his post-round interviews. When reminded that this victory earns him a spot in next week’s Memorial Tournament – a PGA Tour Signature Event and another shot at a huge payday – MacIntyre said he’d prefer to fly back to Scotland to celebrate with friends. Though that sentiment had changed by the time he reached the interview room for his winner’s press conference.

“I’m guessing I’m going to have to,” he said with a smile. “I mean, I would love to go home for a party, but I think we’ll probably play next week.”

MacIntyre has spoken openly about his “lonely” existence in his rookie PGA Tour season, as well as being homesick. He and girlfriend, Shannon, had moved to Florida in a bid to integrate, but that brought up issues of its own. The couple spent nearly a month back home in Scotland recently, and MacIntyre credits that with his recent change of attitude.

“I was struggling,” he explained. “We just weren’t enjoying the Orlando lifestyle that we had thought would better my golf.

“OK, the facilities are great at Isleworth and it has helped my golf in a lot of ways, but I had three weeks at home and touched the clubs twice in three weeks.

“It just clears my mind, being back home. I get to spend time with the boys, a couple of beers with them. And playing shinty back at home in Oban, I don’t get treated as Bob MacIntyre the golfer, I get treated as Bob MacIntyre one of the boys.”

• Bob Mac: The Obanite with the world at his feet

• How much did Bob Mac earn with his PGA Tour win?

As for the caddie situation. Well, it looks like Dougie will be retiring with a 100 per cent win record. And his handsome payday won’t see him quit his day job.

“He’s going to go home and get back on the mowers and work at Glencruitten,” MacIntyre confirmed.

As the saying goes: surround yourself with people who make you happy. It’s certainly working for “Bob MacIntyre one of the boys”.

author headshot

Alex Perry is the Associate Editor of bunkered. A journalist for more than 20 years, he has been a golf industry stalwart for the majority of his career and, in a five-year spell at ESPN, covered every sporting event you can think of. He completed his own Grand Slam at the 2023 Masters, having fallen in love with the sport at his hometown club of Okehampton and on the links of nearby Bude & North Cornwall.

Associate Editor

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