Robert MacIntyre Cottons on to the list of great Scots to have won Rookie of the Year

2019 SIR Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year winner Robert MacIntyre
Oban’s Robert MacIntyre receives the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award from European Tour chief exectuive Keith Pelley (left). Picture by GETTY IMAGES

SCOTLAND’S Robert MacIntyre capped a superb debut season on the European Tour by finishing tied 14th in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to seal two prestigious awards.

The 23-year-old was named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award.

The Walker Cup player also picked up the Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year accolade after finishing 11th on the 2019 Race to Dubai.

MacIntyre said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Halfway through the season when it became on the radar that we could win both awards, it’s something that we set out to do.

“We’ve finally achieved it and now I’m absolutely over the moon for it.

“I’ve enjoyed the battle. The last few weeks have been hard because I’ve been looking over my shoulder until last week when I got overtaken.

“But I could only control what I can control and that was putting some good golf shots on display and I finally managed to put in two good rounds this week to seal it off.

“Family’s everything to us. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them giving up so much time.

“My dad works two jobs, my mum previously worked three, four jobs. Now she’s starting to cool it down a wee bit but that’s nice.

“It’s been down to them and they have given me the chance. Now I just thank them so much.”

MacIntyre emerged top of the class from a strong crop of rookies which included two multiple winners – American Kurt Kitayama (14th) and Italian Guido Migliozzi (40th), both of whom came through Qualifying School – and fellow Challenge Tour graduate Spaniard Adri Arnaus, who finished 41st.

MacIntyre – who lost in the 2016 Amateur Championship final to Hampshire’s Scott Gregory – recorded seven top 10 finishes in 30 appearances on the European Tour in 2019.

They included three runners-up – in the Made in Denmark, Betfred British Masters and Porsche European Open.

The Oban-based ace also impressed in his Major Championship debut, finishing tied sixth in The Open at Royal Portrush.

•For the final Race to Dubai Rankings click here.

Koepka and Rahm: Challenge Tour’s greatest graduates

ROBERT MacIntyre became the 11th Scottish player to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year title since the European Tour’s inception in 1972 and the 12th overall.

Winning the prestigious award has laid the platform for some of the European Tour’s greatest careers, including this year’s Race to Dubai Champion Jon Rahm, who won the title two years ago.

Notable Scottish winners include Sam Torrance (1972), Sandy Lyle (1978) and Colin Montgomerie, who took the honour in 1988.

MacIntyre also became the seventh winner of the Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year, topping the list of 15 from the Class of 2018.

The left-hander finished 12th on the 2018 Road to Mallorca having finished runner-up twice last year.

MacIntyre played in the same Walker Cup team as Hampshire’s back-to-back Amateur Champions Scott Gregory and Harry Ellis, and their county boys team-mate Jack Singh-Brar, who kept his European Tour card, while Q-School graduate Gregory, lost his.

Previous winners of the Challenge Tour Graduate of Year are: Justin Walters (2013), Brooks Koepka (2014), Byeong Hun An (2015), Nacho Elvira (2016) Dylan Fritttelli (2017) and last year’s winner, Erik van Rooyen.

Koepka has won four Majors since then while An and Frittelli have both earned spots on the PGA Tour in the States.

•The other Scots to have won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie awards were:– Mark Warren (2006); Scott Henderson (1997); Gary Orr (1993); Colin Montgomerie (1988); Gordon Brand Jnr (1982); Mike Miller (1979); Sandy Lyle (1978); Sam Torrance (1972); Bernard Gallacher (1968) and Robin Liddle (1966).

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