ALFRED DUNHILL LINKS CHAMPIONSHIP
September 29, 2021
St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland
CLARE BODEL: Welcome to the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Tell us how much you enjoy this tournament and how good it is to be playing on home soil this week.
ROBERT MacINTYRE: No, it’s great to be back. I mean, it’s always good to play golf at the Home of Golf, and yeah, just hopefully the weather kind of hangs on and we get a good side of the draw at least.
Yeah, just looking forward to playing, playing again. Took a few weeks off there to just kind of refresh myself but now I’m just looking forward to getting going.
Q. How difficult was it to declutter after the wee spell you had when you got home and just tried to have that time to freshen things up?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Pretty easy. The club stayed in the travel case that they went back from Wentworth in for about a week. I just went to spend time with family and friends. I’ve been travelling the world for the last 12 weeks, 15 weeks, I feel that I’ve hardly seen family and friends, and just to finally get home and have time to actually spend it with them. That was really the only way I was going to do it and now I’m feeling as ready as I can be for the week.
Q. Has there been a reset in goals or anything for the next few months during that time you’ve had off?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: I’ve not really reset goals. That’s one thing I’ll do at the end of the year. This year I’m just trying tos build on what I started the year on. I started really well, and the last eight weeks, I feel like I’ve just kind of plateaued out. Obviously missed a few cuts.
But at the end of the day, if I go out here this week and I put on a good performance, them three missed cuts, no one’s talking about them. For me, I’m not really thinking about them, or I’m not thinking about them at all. I’m out here this week to try and win a golf tournament.
Q. Last week we were watching The Ryder Cup. Was there any thoughts of what might have been or was it just something you enjoyed or didn’t enjoy?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, I watched it but I didn’t actually sit down and watch it all night. I don’t watch a lot of golf, I’m being honest with you, but look, a great golf course and two great teams going at it, and Americans were just — they got the breaks when they needed them. They just holed the right putts, and that’s match play.
I mean, it’s a big momentum game. When you see some of the guys missing, they have got about a 10-foot for birdie to go, say, 3-up and they miss, it and the next hole they lose, and now they are 1-up and it’s just a battle. It’s just momentum in match play, and it’s harder against the best players in the world.
Q. I just heard you very nicely wishing the best to both sides in whatever tournament it was. I thought that doesn’t sound too like the Americans we were hearing. I mean, what was it you were wishing?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: It was just about a wedge. I gave Brian a golf club that I used for a golf day, and there’s going to be two teams going at it and someone’s going to win it.
Q. Did you think the American crowds were a bit hard on the Europeans?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: I think you were hearing it more because there wasn’t European fans there. It was just — I mean, it’s like any sport, football, when you’re at home, they are going to shout for you. So it doesn’t — at the end of the day, it’s only you that can control what you do with the golf ball. You’re in charge of when you hit the shot.
So I mean, that’s what golfers try and do, we try and blank out the noise and we do that to the best of our ability.
Q. The crowds shouted — they are terrible at shinty, are they.
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Shinty and football. Doesn’t matter. If you go and sit in the crowd, you’ll hear some shouts.
Q. You weren’t so close to the selection for The Ryder Cup this year and even though it’s two years away, the road to Rome, what was your determination Sunday night when you saw the result?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Again, it’s golf. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here to the end of the season. I don’t know what’s going to happen from here to Rome. But that is high on my list. Now I’ve got two years to achieve it, and just turned 25 years old, so it’s not — this year I was close, but I mean, I was trying to achieve other things.
As much as I was trying to get on The Ryder Cup Team, I was trying to, golf is an individual sport, and for me I was trying to get my PGA TOUR card, and that’s what’s best for my career, that’s what’s better for myself. That’s the reason I didn’t played in the States and done what I done.
But no, Rome is top of the list. Come the start of next season, there’s going to be goals set, and I’m 100 per cent sure that Rome is going to be top of the list for a two-year goal.
Q. Any aches and pains from the shinty at the weekend?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: No, all good. Couple of bruises but I get that just running about at my mum’s house.
Q. Did you get a call at all from P�draig in the lead-up to the wildcard announcement? Was there any communications?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, I did. I got it just before he went on to announce the team just out of respect, and I kind of knew it was coming, so it wasn’t a surprise. No, disappointed obviously, but we go again.
Q. There would be encouraging words in there?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: There was. It’s just he’s always going to be encouraging to me, and I get on great with him. Again, he picked the team he picked and I respected the guys he picked end of the day, top-class players. Obviously disappointed but that’s the way it goes.
Q. Just on the Dunhill Links, your debut as an amateur was a few years ago, 2013 in the Dunhill?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Something like that.
Q. It was a big, huge event and a great experience for you then. Did that springboard in many ways to the professional career?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: That was pretty much the time that I realised I could play at this level when I was — I think I must have been 16. And yeah, I played with Eduardo de la Riva, and we still laugh about it every time we cross paths.
No, that really opened my eyes to the world of golf. I thought, I could do this for a living, and here we are now.
Q. What were the laughs with Edoardo? Just the good time you had with him?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, it was brilliant. I think we finished fifth that year. Obviously I was off forward tees; so the better they played off of the forward tees. But it was great fun, and he had done well that year in The Open. I think he finished top 15 in The Open that year. So he knew what he was doing on links golf and it helped me out.
Q. Tournament golf can be a bit of a groundhog day for you guys because it’s week-after-week with days of traveling between. How important was it to get that wee reset back home with friends and family, switch off a bit and get the old Celtic hoops on?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: It was really important. I actually sat down after Wentworth when I missed the cut, or thought I was going to miss the cut and I spoke to Stoddy, my manager, and I’m like, I’m playing well. Just nothing’s happening. Should we go to Holland and play the event.
We sat there and we thought, we need a break. I mean, I’ve just played so much golf. So we decided to take the break. I love going home. I’ve got friends out on the Tour but they are not my pals, you know what I mean. They are not the people that I could — if something is going wrong, I could phone them up and say, look, help is out here or they could phone me up. It’s not really going to happen out here.
But back home is where it’s at for me, and friends, family, and obviously shinty, everyone knows that I’ve been playing shinty for a few years. I don’t think they knew that I was probably playing shinty, but sometimes things come out, and now, I mean, it is what it is.
Q. We were speaking to Dundee’s best French golfer, Victor, earlier on, and he was talking about momentum, confidence, all that kind of stuff. They were saying before, this kind of two-year cycle, do you think it’s time for Scotland’s young golfers to step up? There’s a whole half-dozen of that you could be in contention for The Ryder Cup in two years’ time, and fantastic tournament golf over that period as well.
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, totally. I think that — I personally think that there will be at least one of us, if not two, maybe three of us. We have got the guys, we have got the support around us. I’m not just saying that because there’s three of us in the same management team.
But you see the results. The results speak for themselves. Callum is on a trend that’s rocking. Grant is obviously in great form. And then there’s me, as well, which I’m fully expecting to be there come two years’ time and we support each other as much as we can. If someone is doing well — you seen Grant won Callum just missed out, there was a celebration on the green, even though Callum is disappointed. We’re all behind each other, pushing each other.
CLARE BODEL: Thank you, everyone.
Interview Transcript by ASAP Sports