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Tuesday July 23, 2024

MacIntyre narrowly wins Canadian Open for first PGA Tour title

By Reuters
June 04, 2024
Robert MacIntyre watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament. — USA TODAY Sports/File
Robert MacIntyre watches his tee shot on the fourth hole during the final round of the RBC Canadian Open golf tournament. — USA TODAY Sports/File

TORONTO: Robert MacIntyre’s first victory on the PGA Tour will be memorable for countless reasons. His father was there every step of the way in the RBC Canadian Open as a fill-in caddie. “That’s the guy that taught me the game of golf,” MacIntyre said. “... He was trying to tell me to stay focused, swing smooth.”

They could celebrate together after the Scottish golfer shot 2-under-par 68 for a one-stroke tournament victory Sunday at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ontario. MacIntyre, a left-hander who earned his PGA Tour card via the DP World Tour Race to Dubai rankings, finished at 16-under 264. That was one stroke better than Ben Griffin, who shot a bogey-free 65.

Dougie MacIntyre did his part as the caddie. “I’m speechless,” the younger MacIntyre said during a post-round television interview. “That’s everything for me and my family. To have him on the bag, I’m crying with joy, but I’m laughing because I didn’t think it was possible.”

Now, MacIntyre has a spot in the U.S. Open in less than two weeks. He’s full of gratitude. “The whole support I’ve had from Scotland, (for) me and my family,” he said. “... I honestly can’t believe this.”

When MacIntyre made the turn, he held a four-stroke lead with six golfers sharing second place. But the tournament had been far from decided, not to mention MacIntyre’s apparent irritation because of noise stemming from a CBS drone.

Griffin, who joined MacIntyre in the final pairing and also was vying for his first PGA win, had a late rally with three straight birdies, but was unable to sink a birdie putt from the fringe on the last hole.

“I fought hard,” said Griffin, who posted a final-round 65. “It felt like there was a lid on the cup for most of the day for me. I hit so many pretty good putts.” Griffin, who was part of a group tied for second place entering the round, had a strange day, with a birdie on the par-4 third hole after his tee shot settled on the seventh fairway. He recovered, but he made all pars until birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17. The putt on the 16th green was from nearly 40 feet.