Robert MacIntyre has said his win at the Italian Open is the biggest of his career as he eyes a place at next year’s Ryder Cup.
The Scot moved up to 68th in the world following his win in Rome, and said it’s always been an ambition to be a member of Team Europe.
Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald sent MacIntyre an encouraging message after his triumph at the weekend, and there’s a clear focus on the big event of 2023 for the Oban golfer.
“That’s my goal, to make that Ryder Cup team,” MacIntyre said. “It was my goal, somewhat, the other year but it didn’t work out. I went to chase my PGA Tour card and that didn’t work out but I’ve got no regrets on that.
“Obviously you get another opportunity and I’m older, somewhat wiser and I’m a better golfer. So it’s just about me.
“I know what I’m capable of and I showed it on Sunday. It’s just about going out there and trying to do that more often.”
MacIntyre beat US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick in the play-off in Rome and Rory McIlroy finished fourth. Coming out on top in a high-calibre field was a huge confidence boost.
“I always knew I could compete with the top guys but to know you can win against them [is different],” he said. “Obviously I’ve been to majors and made the cuts and been top tens and whatnot but I went toe to toe with them.
He said: “I’ve been doubting myself the last couple of weeks, about whether the things I’ve done have been the right things. Obviously the start I had on Sunday was massive but when it was going wrong, you know you have the head to just knuckle down, keep going, keep fighting until it’s over.”
After making steady progress year on year and enjoying some impressive performances in big competitions, MacIntyre went through a bumpy patch this year and says he had to go back to basics in an attempt to recover form.
The Italian Open win was a clear indication that things are going to plan again but the Scot said it hadn’t come without a lot of work and a lot of thinking.
“I knew my golf wasn’t far away,” MacIntyre said. “I’ve been saying it for a few weeks now that I knew something was coming.
“Obviously I didn’t know what was coming but no one does. I know the level of golf I can play at, I know where I’ve been before.
“Last week was a lot more like the golf I feel like I should be playing more often. It’s so good to see the work I’ve been putting in pay off.
“I’ve been working like hell the last two months. I feel it’s the most I’ve worked, the smartest I’ve worked and it’s thanks to the people around me.
“When I started working with Simon Shanks, one of the main things was just setting a standard for ourselves, having a reset. And that’s what we’ve got to do, keep raising the standards, keep the dedication up and if I keep doing that and working with the right people then these things take care of themselves.”