We can only wonder what Old Tom Morris, the craggy custodian of the ancient links at St Andrews, would have made of the various advancements in golfing aids and accoutrements.

Take, for instance, the Greens Book, a handy piece of back-pocket paraphernalia that has done for navigational assistance on the putting surfaces what the Ordnance Survey does for jolly yomps in the country.

Given Auld Tom was renowned for his toils and troubles with the putter, an affliction he passed down to generations of Scottish golfers, he probably would have been first in the queue to buy one had they been around back in ye day.


Here in 2019, Robert MacIntyre certainly swears by this Greens Book. In fact, he reckons it has helped him crack the code of the Old Course.

“It’s a golf course I have never ever got the hang of but I think today might have been the turning point,” said the Oban left-hander after a six-under 66 hoisted him into the top 20 on a 13-under tally.

“I never used to be able to putt on these greens. I never used to be able to read them properly and today I holed a lot of great putts which was key.

“The Greens Book was a huge help and confirmed to me what I was seeing. In the years I played the St Andrews Links Trophy [in the amateur ranks] I think I only ever shot under par once on the Old Course. Now I’ll try and keep riding the wave.”

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MacIntyre has been riding a wave for much of the season and his superb rookie year on the main circuit is continuing on home soil.

A raking eagle putt of some 60 feet on the ninth highlighted another good day at the office for the 23-year-old as he recovered from an early bogey on the second to surge up the order. A 10-footer for birdie on the last helped him finish with a flourish

“After two holes today I thought ‘Oh no, here we go , it’s got me again,” he said of that ominous start. “But I just hung in there and really enjoyed it.

“The support from the crowds has been unbelievable. And it’s not just my mum that I can hear.”

Hopefully, MacIntyre can give those galleries – and his mum – more to cheer about today.