Masters: Robert MacIntyre on learning ‘secrets’ from 2018 champion Patrick Reed ahead of Augusta Bow
Masters debutant Robert MacIntyre has revealed that 2018 champion Patrick Reed helped him settle into his unfamiliar environment at Augusta this week.
Scotland’s No. 1 golfer MacIntyre secured his spot at Augusta after cementing his place in the world’s top 50 following a strong performance at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship – where he faced off against Dustin Johnson, the best of the sport.
Hitting the Masters for the first time ever can be a surreal yet daunting experience for any golfer – having previously watched from home as the world’s best continually indulge in the relentless Augusta National.
Robert MacIntyre, currently ranked 45th in the world, can’t wait to get started at the Masters
But MacIntyre has been given a helping hand for his Masters bow by none other than Reed – who held off Rickie Fowler in 2018 from donning the prestigious Green Jacket for the first time.
“ I played the first nine on day one with Reed, so I got some insight there and learned little tricks of where I can and can’t go, ” MacIntyre revealed – with the pair developing a strong friendship recently.
‘It was great, I get along well with him. We’ve gotten along well since I first played with him in Turkey during my first season on the European Tour. I think it’s almost more of a respect and I gained his respect early on because I played well. And I feel like you’re dealing with the best guys.
‘He’s been great with me, anything I need to ask him I can ask him and he gives me advice. He doesn’t have a bad track record around this place, so he clearly knows where to go or not to go.
“So just little hidden things that me and Mike (MacIntyre’s caddy) had no idea about, he just told us little secrets that are great and we’ll be using them this week.”
Patrick Reed has given MacIntyre Augusta’s low point ahead of his Masters debut
MacIntyre feels at home with Augusta through world No. 7, but you’d still expect a lot of nerves from someone about to make their debut on arguably the world’s most iconic golf course.
Having seen the Masters religiously as a child growing up on television, it is certainly a surreal experience for MacIntyre and he admitted that his first ride up the iconic Magnolia Lane was the moment when his performance had completely sunk.
“It was brilliant, it’s a little boy’s dream,” MacIntyre added. Not many people get the chance to drive there at the best of times, let alone prepare for the Masters. It’s something I dreamed of as a kid, and it was just a special moment. ‘
Surprisingly, there are no nerves in MacIntyre’s camp yet as he prepares to take on 2003 champion Mike Weir and CT Pan in his first two rounds.
“Not just now,” MacIntyre – who will be supported by his parents at Augusta – replied when asked if his nerves were ringing.
MacIntyre admits he has no nerves yet for what will be a memorable week
“ I thought I would be nervous and more tense about it now, but once I’m on the tee, I’ll be nervous just like any other time, maybe a little extra.
“But not at all now, I’m here to play golf, that’s my job, that’s what I do here every day.”
The 24-year-old, born in Oban, added: ‘I’m not squeezing myself. At the end of the day, I’ve worked hard to be where I am. I didn’t wake up alone and got lucky. I’ve worked hard for this, and it’s what we do. It’s part of the job.
‘It is of course very special to be here, but I have worked really hard every time I am practicing. This is no coincidence, but hard work. ‘
And it’s that determination that makes him enjoy an incredible rise in the top 50 in the world and regularly compete against the best in the sport.
MacIntyre took to the scene in style after finishing sixth in his Open Championship debut at Royal Portrush in 2019 – the same year he was named European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’.
MacIntyre took on Dustin Johnson, World No. 1, at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship
The left-handed Scot certainly hasn’t looked back, and while many won’t see him as a realistic contender for the sport’s ultimate prize on his debut, MacIntyre insists he’s not with Augusta to make up for the numbers.
MacIntyre insisted: ‘Obviously it’s my first time, so you don’t really expect too much, but I’m here to compete and give myself a shot on Sunday. And if I can play the way I know I can play, I don’t understand why not.
‘If I weren’t here trying to win a golf tournament, I would be at home in Oban.
“Every player in this field wants to try to win and clearly there is only one winner, so there will be, some, 88 guys who will be disappointed.
‘But it’s not really a disappointment, because you’re learning and I’m going to learn a lot for me. But I’m just going to try to enjoy it as much as I can, take it all in and what will be. ‘