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Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre admits he got goosebumps arriving in St Andrews ahead of this week’s Open.
The 25-year-old has played in the last two editions of the championship but to feature in one at the home of golf is a dream come true.
“When I was driving in on Sunday, that’s the first time I’ve ever had goosebumps coming to St Andrews,” said MacIntyre, who hails from Oban.
“I always drove into town, and it’s like, ‘oh, we’re in St Andrews’ – but when I came in from above the town I actually had goosebumps. I was like, ‘wow, this is just different’.
“If I was ever to play just one Open Championship, it would have been here. It’s the biggest golf tournament that you can play in.”
Despite his obvious excitement, MacIntyre is not at St Andrews this week simply for the experience.
The left-hander finished in a tie for sixth on his Open debut at Portrush in 2019 and was joint-eighth at St George’s last year.
He was a winner on what is now the DP World Tour in 2020 and, although currently ranked 105 in the world, he has previously been as high as 42.
“It’s a dream come true for me, but I’ve got to try to compete and win a golf tournament,” he said.
“Of course I’m probably going to be a wee bit more anxious, a wee bit more nervous at the start but once I get into it and after I play the first couple of holes, I’m playing golf.
“If I play well, I don’t see why I can’t do something in this golf tournament. I know how to play links golf.”
MacIntyre has had a frustrating year with just one top-10 finish and he has missed the cut in three of his last four events, including last week’s Scottish Open.
He said: “I’ve been on a pretty steep rise since I turned pro. If this is my slump in my career, then I’ve done all right.
“When it all clicks in and I start getting momentum going, I’ll be back to myself.
“I’ve got more shots in the bag this year than I did last year and there’s still a lot of the season to go.
“Golf’s a funny game, and it’s not been kind to me just now, but it will be.”