‘I’m over the moon’: Why this wide-eyed Masters rookie was so giddy after the final round
Perhaps no one enjoyed themselves at the 85th Masters more than Scotsman Robert MacIntyre (other than Hideki Matsuyama, of course). Such is life as a rookie at Augusta National.
“It’s unbelievable, really to believe that I would be competing in the Masters Tournament, playing with the best guys on the planet,” said MacIntyre, who is 24. “When I was a young kid I wanted to, but until I’m here doing it, you don’t really believe it, and we’re here now, and it’s the best feeling I can have.”
McIntyre, who was the highest-ranked left-hander in the field (45 in the world), has been sure to chronicle every bit of his experience on social media this week. Or, as much as one can with the strict no-phone policy that Augusta National employs. From his first drive down Magnolia Lane, to pulling out of the player parking lot for the final time, McIntyre was sure to enjoy every bit of his week.
The first spin around Augusta National is always a memorable one. Even if you don’t play well, the the Masters Experience is unmatched. But the thing is, MacIntyre did play well. Rounds of 74-70-70-72 added up to a two-under total for the week, making him one of just 20 players to break par.
First-timers aren’t supposed to make Augusta National look easy, but MacIntyre (not to mention fellow Masters rookie Will Zalatoris) never looked daunted. He got better as the week progressed, and by Sunday, he was in the top 10.
MacIntyre was three over through six in his final round, but four birdies over his next eight holes steadied the ship. Then, back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17 threatened a sour finish to an otherwise spectacular week.
“Obviously got off to a poor start today, but I battled back the way I normally do,” he said. “[But] disappointing bogeys on 16 and 17.”
The bogeys had dropped him outside the top 12 — which is significant, because those inside that mark receive invitations back to the Masters for the following year. MacIntyre knew the stakes. He asked his caddie what he believed the number would be for the top 12. Three under for sure, and two under had a chance.
MacIntyre did exactly what he needed. After splitting the 18th fairway with his drive, MacIntyre fired his approach in to 13 feet. After getting a favorable read off the putt of playing partner Tony Finau, he rolled in the putt for birdie to get to two under.
Still, he was uncertain of whether the number would hold. But when his position at T12 was confirmed in scoring, the celebration could finally begin. As reported by The Action Network’s Jason Sobel, when MacIntyre realized he’d secured top 12, he ran out of the clubhouse and jumped on his caddie’s shoulders.
“[I’m] happier than I was five minutes ago,” he said. “This is a place you want to be competing every year. My first time this year, and I obviously put up a decent fight, but once you come here, you don’t want to miss another one. I’m not missing next year for anything … I’m just over the moon to finish the way I finished.”
Then it was off to enjoy some pints with his family and team in attendance. There were sure to be some celebratory pints enjoyed by his family back in Scotland as well.
“It’s everything you want as a kid,” he said. “And we’ve done it.”