Bob MacIntyre reveals lonely PGA Tour life as he explains the difference between European and American circuit

Bob MacIntyre
Bob MacIntyre -Credit:Getty Images

Bob MacIntyre has lifted the lid on the painful lows of his lonely PGA Tour life.

The Scot is excited to return home again in July for the Genesis Scottish Open and The Open. But, as he fights to make his name in America, the 27-year-old has been suffering in the States. MacIntyre’s massive decision to move across the Atlantic to further his career is proving a tough business.

In 12 events so far, the Oban ace has missed six cuts. It’s been difficult on the course and just as hard off it. Moving from the DP World Tour where camaraderie is rife, it’s all-business in America and MacIntyre confessed: “It does become a lonely place at the golf side of it. Obviously I went home for three weeks there recently and felt like I came out a far happier man because it does get on top of you. It’s a different environment for me, it’s been wild to be honest. It’s completely different.

“When you’re on the European DP World Tour, it’s very friendly. If we’re struggling with certain things, we speak to folk around us. You come out here to the PGA Tour, there’s less chatting, less dinners, just less of that big family feel.

“In player dining in Europe, if you’re sitting on your own, they [other boys] will come and join you. Out here, because you don’t know many folk, you don’t know them in that same kind of depth, they don’t come to sit with you.

“I wouldn’t expect someone to come and sit with me. It is what it is. You’ve got to get on with it.”

MacIntye’s referenced return to Oban for three weeks recently boosted spirits as he explained: “It’s just getting to spend time with people that treat you as Bob, the human, and not Bob the golfer. We’ve not got many friends out here outside of the golf circle. You can’t get away from it.

“When I go back home, I talk to my mates, the boys where I play shinty, the boys that I just hang around with. They treat me as Bob. As just a pal that they have grown up with. There’s nothing fancy.”

MacIntyre has some support network in the States and continued: “I’ve had obviously my girlfriend [Shannon] and, most weeks, I’ve got someone else, whether it’s coaches, friends, Stoddy, friends, family. It is different because I can’t just jump home and see the family and get that kind of vibe, or being at home, being chilled out.”

MacIntyre has to hunt PGA positives, but it’s tough right now as he said: “It’s a great place to play, where the best players are, where you can make more money. But, to be honest, for me, it’s all about work life balance. I’ve not quite worked that out yet.

“When I’m playing in Europe and I miss a cut, I jump on a plane to try and get home for a Saturday game of shinty. I’m probably off the scales for normality, but it’s what makes me tick and, the guys in America, different things make them tick. I don’t know, they just go about their business differently.”

MacIntyre starts the Myrtle Beach Classic today and tees-up at the PGA Championship at Valhalla next week. He’s hunting a US kickstart and said: “I’m back to being a rookie. Simple as that. We’ve got to work our way up now.

“Look at Matthieu Pavon. He’s now a top 20 player in the world, so things can change in an absolute heartbeat. I’ve been getting annoyed because I’m impatient, but there’s so much golf to still play. One good shot, one feel can change it all.

“Last week I felt like I played all right, but a six-under cut is absolutely ridiculous. If you’ve not got your best stuff, you’re going up the road early. That’s just the standard we are playing at and that’s fine. I just need to play better. It doesn’t feel daunting at all. It’s just difficult to stay positive at times.”

MacIntyre’s return to Renaissance, confirmed with Tom Kim and 2022 champ Xander Schauffele, and Open at Royal Troon will lift. He was a brilliant second to Rory McIlroy last year in East Lothian and said: “I love coming home.

“Last year was almost a dream come true. Obviously, I fell just shy, but the Scottish Open for me is the biggest event outside of the major championships. For any Scot, it’s the one they want to win.”