With the kind of admirable patience that would have made Job look like a tetchy motorist honking his car horn, Robert MacIntyre was rewarded for his keep-calm-and-carry-on demeanour as he conjured a late thrust to stay in contention for a maiden European Tour title at the Turkish Airlines Open.

On a day when he could have easily let the frustrations get the better of him and slithered out of the running, the 23-year-old showed the composure and mental resolve that belied his tender years and winkled out a spirited five-under 67 for a 15-under tally which left him sharing second place, three shots behind Austrian leader Matthias Schwab.

“I stayed incredibly patient as I was struggling but my caddie, Greig [Milne], said there were birdies everywhere so just hang on in and that’s what we did,” said MacIntyre as he played the waiting game over the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.

Having not enjoyed the best of warm ups on the driving range prior to his third round – “I was hitting push fades” – MacIntyre dug deep and emerged with a morale-boosting plunder.


One-under for his round after 14 holes and losing ground on the leaders, MacIntyre clattered his drive at the short par-four 15th to within three feet and dunted in the putt for an eagle two. 

That much-needed gain sparked a late rally and he rolled in a 12-footer for a birdie on the next before giving himself another eagle opportunity on the last. That particular putt didn’t threaten the hole but the resulting birdie was still gratefully received. 

After a barnstorming 63 on day two that seemed to be pieced together with carefree abandon, this round was more of a roll-up-the-sleeves job that could have been produced with a hammer and chisel. It was a good shift.

“That round today was probably more rewarding [than the 63] as I seriously struggled on the range this morning,” said the Oban left-hander.

“But my coach [Davy Burns] just said ‘don’t panic’. I panicked a bit at the Scottish Open when things on the range didn’t go well. But the worst 
thing you can do is panic as it just gets worse.

“If I have a push fade on the range, then I just have to allow for that. Anybody watching would have thought ‘he’s struggling to shoot level-par’ but that’s how my game is just now. I hit a bad tee shot early on, putting it in the water, but I thought to myself, ‘I can’t do anything about that now’. 

“You’ve just got to deal with what is in front of you, not what’s behind you. It was one of those days where you just had to bide your time and hope things happened. They did eventually.”

With three runners-up finishes during a wonderful rookie year, MacIntyre will continue to unleash the heavy artillery on the final day and is hoping his aggressive, yet considered, approach brings the ultimate reward. 

“The first time I was in contention [at May’s British Masters] I was shaking with the putter,” he said of that first experience of being in the mix. 

“But I’ve shot under-par every time I’ve been in with a shout. This course, you can’t shoot level-par and expect to win a tournament. I’ll just stay aggressive and keep the driver in the hands. Every pin that’s there for the taking I’ll go straight at it. That’s just the way I play golf.”

On a good day for the small Scottish contingent, Scott Jamieson moved up into a share of seventh with a 68 for 13-under. 

A little flurry of three birdies in four holes from the 13th aided his climb into the upper echelons. 

Richie Ramsay, meanwhile, went on a sprightly surge around the turn which included six birdies in a row as he fired an eight-under 64 for an 11-under aggregate. 

Starting on the 10th, Ramsay began his birdie burst at the 17th while he polished off his round with a brace of gains at the eighth and ninth. “I think I’ve had seven birdies in a row before, but I’ll take six,” said Ramsay with a smile. 

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A raking putt of 45-feet on the second highlighted a profitable day on the greens for the Scot. Like MacIntyre, Ramsay employed a patient approach. 

“I was working a little on the range the previous night and my caddie was saying ‘don’t change anything as there is a lot of good stuff in there’,” added Ramsay. 

“Sometimes you need someone to just say ‘look, you’re on the right path, good things will happen’. They did today.”

Ramsay still has hopes of barging into the top 50 on the rankings 
and earning an end-of-season trip to Dubai for the Tour Championship.

“That’s where the best players are and that goal keeps your mind sharp on every shot,” he said.