Robert MacIntyre, who admitted he ‘might be the problem,’ surges into lead at 2024 RBC Canadian Open with dad on bag

HAMILTON, Ontario – Father knows best.

That’s been the case for the first 36 holes of the RBC Canadian Open for Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre, who is bogey-free through 36 holes with dad, Dougie, on the bag as his emergency caddie.

“He jumped at the chance,” the PGA Tour rookie said of his old man, who serves as a greenkeeper back home at Glencruitten Golf Course in Oban, Scotland. “It’s good to just spend an extra week with loved ones.”

MacIntyre fired a 4-under 66 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club on Friday to improve to 10-under 130 and take the early lead during the second round of play.

MacIntyre had been using caddie Mike Burrows while his usual boss Danny Willett was sidelined with injury earlier this season and did a five-week trial run with Scott Carmichael, but they parted ways last week after MacIntyre missed the cut. He called his father Saturday to ask him to fill in this week and he hopped on a flight the next day. It’s the first time MacIntyre has had his dad, who he tabbed a good golfer in his own right, on the bag since he caddied at DP World Tour Q-School seven years ago.

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“We did all right there,” MacIntyre said. “He’s learning on the run and I’m kind of trying to stay as calm as I can. When I do miss a shot, I’m not trying to get too annoyed.”

There hasn’t been too much to be annoyed about so far. He birdied three of his first four holes en route to 64 on Thursday, and said he kept things simple for his dad. “He’s a bit out of his depth,” MacIntrye said.

Aware that Hamilton is a hilly golf course, he was able to secure for his father a lightweight bag with a kickstand from Titleist after walking nine holes on Monday in the rain with his usual Tour staff bag. MacIntyre said his 59-year-old father is fit enough to do 18 but he also plans to play in the upcoming U.S. Open qualifier in Toronto this coming Monday. (Dougie MacIntyre declined to speak for this story, saying, “I’ve been instructed by Bob not to.”)

2024 RBC Canadian Open
2024 RBC Canadian Open

Robert MacIntyre plays his shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the 2024 RBC Canadian Open at Hamilton Golf & Country Club. (Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

“I thought 36 holes for my dad carrying that tour bag ain’t going to be pretty, so I’ve gone a bit easier on him,” he said.

MacIntyre also is going a bit easier on himself. He’s found the adjustment to playing on the PGA Tour a lonely existence and he’s only been home three weeks since January 3, so having his father by his side has been a benefit on multiple levels this week.

MacIntyre has recorded three top-10 finishes this season, most notably a T-8 at the PGA Championship earlier this month. MacIntyre has credited his strong play of late to an attitude adjustment. When asked why he needed one, he said, “Because I think my golf game’s not changed in the last, I don’t know, four, five years. Nothing’s changed. Only thing that’s changed this year is the environment that I’m in on the PGA Tour instead of the DP World Tour. So, I’ve got the golf game to compete anywhere in the world, and I knew that, from playing obviously Open Championships and the Masters my first time. There was something stopping me. There was something stopping me from competing. I felt like I had a terrible start to the year. [He missed three of his first four cuts.] Something was stopping me.

“We dug in deeper into stats and whatnot and we’re like, ‘Everything’s all right here, what is it?’ And then you got to look at yourself, you got to look yourself in the mirror and go, ‘You might be the problem.’ We sat down, we spoke about it, and I think my attitude was a problem. Just now I’m working hard on that, trying to just stay as even-keeled and just deal with whatever comes.”

So far, the Canadian fans have adopted the lefthander as one of their own.

“Lefties rule!” a fan bellowed.

“Right on!” another said.

Right to the top of the leaderboard and with his father doing his best to keep up with his son. As they walked off the last green after a tidy up-and-down par, Dougie turned to his son and said tongue firmly in cheek, “I think I might need to negotiate a wage this week.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek