Bob MacIntyre says winning European Tour Rookie of the Year was a ‘team’ effort

Bob MacIntyre has heaped praise on the team behind his European Tour Rookie of the Year and Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year triumphs.

The 23-year-old secured both prizes through finishing 11th in the Race to Dubai, having racked up seven top-10 finishes in his first season on the circuit.

Bob became the first Scot to claim the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award since 2006, joining the likes of Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie in putting his name on the giant salver.

“It’s why you play golf,” said the left-hander of his triumphs after being presented with both pieces of silverware by Keith Pelley, the CEO of the European Tour.

“I couldn’t do it without the support of everyone from mum, dad, my Manager Iain Stoddart and the swing guru himself, David Burns.

“He’s changed my game, night and day. When I went to see David, two-and-a-half to three years ago, I couldn’t hit a driver on the planet.

“Today we’re stepping up with drivers and we’re hitting them as hard as we can and we know roughly where they are going to go.

“After every round, we sit down and reflect on what’s gone on, and we learn from it each week and each day. I can’t thank everyone enough.”By finishing joint-sixth on his major debut at Royal Portrush in the summer, Bob had already secured a spot in next year’s Open Championship at Royal St George’s. Through his Race to Dubai efforts, he’s also now in the US PGA Championship at Harding Park in California and has a Masters debut in his sights before then.

The 2015 Scottish Amateur champion now moves up to 66 in the world rankings and has until the end of March to break into the top 50 to secure an invitation for the season’s opening major at Augusta National.

“I’ve been shooting at the top 50 in the world for the last four or five weeks. We’ve fallen just short, but the season’s opened up doors for me,” he said.

“It’s opened up WGC events and, though I was going to be playing another few events this year if I was in the position that I’ve actually found myself in, I’m calling it a day this year. I’ve played enough golf.

“Next year, if I keep continue to do what I’m doing on the golf course, then in my own head, it’s a matter of time.”

That sentiment was echoed by Pelley as he heaped lavish praise on the young Scot – both as a player and a person.

“I would like to congratulate Robert on what was a brilliant first year on the European Tour,” said the Canadian.

“He is not only a spectacular player and, with seven top-10s, he had a year worthy of receiving both these awards. But he’s also an incredible young man off the course, as well, and it’s a testament to his upbringing. We look forward to watching Robert excel on the global stage.”

Bob is the tenth Scot to claim the accolade since the European Tour was founded in 1972 and 12th in total since it was introduced in 1960.

“There is no doubt you come from a country that is rich in history,” added Pelley. “I think you’ll play a lot of major championships and I know you’ll win a lot of European Tour events.

 ”You should be proud of yourself, and we’re certainly proud that you’re a member of the European Tour.”

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