Masters fever? Robert MacIntyre has most certainly got it.
The top Scot on the Official World Golf Ranking is itching to get back to Augusta National and mount a serious Green Jacket title assault.
Speaking in the latest edition of bunkered (issue 191), MacIntyre explained how his debut in the opening men’s major of the season had exceeded all expectations and added that he’s keen to build on last year’s tied-12th finish when he pegs it up this year.
“Last year, I was just trying my best,” said the 25-year-old. “I didn’t know what I was capable of there, if I would like the course, all that stuff. But by the end of the week, I was wishing we were going straight back there the next week.
“It’s a golf course that really suits me and I would say I’ve got better as a player since then. So, this year, it’s not about trying to learn the golf course; it’s about trying to win the golf tournament. Not that I wasn’t trying to do that last year but the main goal was to get back for next year.
“But this year, I’m going to be more comfortable, I know where everything is and I know roughly how to play the golf course. I can’t wait for it.”
The trend skews towards debutants having a tough first taste of The Masters but MacIntyre bucked that in spectacular fashion, leading the field in birdies across the four rounds and continuing his streak of making the cut in every major he has played to date.
“I just played golf the way I know I can,” he added. “I feel like you play US Open and Opens and par’s good. If the weather gets tough, your focus is on trying not to make a mistake. You can almost fall into the trap of showing the golf course too much respect. Whereas I went to The Masters and I just went at it and tried to make as many birdies as I could and it worked.
“It was probably the best on-course buzz that I’ve ever had, from walking the first fairway on the first practice day to walking up 18 in the final round. It’s an experience that you dream of getting and I managed to get it.
“I was thankful that I was able to experience it with my parents, too. I would say every golfer dreams of playing at Augusta once in their lifetime, and to do it in The Masters was, yeah, probably the best experience in a golf tournament I’ve ever had.”
• You can read the full interview with Robert MacIntyre in issue 191 of bunkered, on-sale now from all good Scottish newsagents and magazine stockists. Can’t find a copy? Take out a subscription and never miss an edition. International subscriptions also available.