For any golfer, winning their home event would be a dream come true – and Robert MacIntyre is no different.
Scotland’s top-ranked player is among a star-studded field set to tee it up at the Renaissance Club this summer, and is targeting glory in his home event.
In fact, it means so much to the Oban native that he rates it behind only the four majors in terms of its importance.
“For me, outside of the majors the Scottish Open is the one,” he said.
“As a Scot, it’s the one you want to win and, with the standard of the field and everything that comes with it, it would mean absolutely everything – for me it’s the fifth major.”
Being Scotland’s No.1 brings added support for MacIntyre, who will be roared on by a bumper crowd in East Lothian.
And although he is relishing the prospect of bringing joy to the home faithful, he admitted there is a need to find a “balance” to avoid the pressure getting to him.
“We call it ‘noise’,” MacIntyre added.
“Along with my team, we try and pull everything back and just focus on hitting the next shot. I’ve really struggled with doing that. I’ve always been thinking ‘what if? What if? What if? What can I do right now’.
“And it happened again at the weekend [at the British Masters]. It showed that I’ve still got that problem, but I just want to play golf. The thing is when you turn up at the Scottish Open, there’s not many people going against you. Most of the people are going to be supporting you.”
In 2019, MacIntyre was paired with Rory McIlroy – and he is ready if he is drawn in another marquee group.
“It is just about being comfortable in the environment. You have to gain respect from the top guys; you can’t just expect to have it.
“I think I showed that week that I can handle it and play some decent golf. I think the majority now realise I’m not here to make up numbers, I’m here to compete.”