Roman golf fans will be treated to the best of the best next fall, when the Ryder Cup 2023 descends on town, and got a taste of what to expect from this week’s Italian Open.
Robert MacIntyre shot a 7-under 64 on Sunday to take on 54-hole leader Matt Fitzpatrick on 14 under to force a play-off at the Marco Simone Golf Club in Rome, which will host the biennial game between the United States and Europe. Both Fitzpatrick and MacIntyre are set to play for Luke Donald’s European side, and it was the latter to take off with the trophy for his second DP World Tour win.
On the first playoff hole, MacIntyre’s tee shot found the fairway on the par-5 18e while Fitzpatrick cut into the thick, rough left side of the fairway. From there, the 26-year-old Scot just missed the green on his approach, but went up and down for a birdie to beat Fitzpatrick, who had to scramble for par.
In his post-round interview, MacIntyre said he was “down and out two, three months ago, I didn’t know what I was doing, I didn’t know where to go,” before telling his caddy, coaches, family and friends. to support him in his struggle. After a few bogeys on numbers 14 and 15, MacIntyre could hear the roar of the crowd as Fitzpatrick made a move, but he wasn’t deterred. Instead, he birdied the numbers 16 and 18 to force the playoff.
“We dived in. I have a tenacious attitude, never give up,” MacIntyre said. “I get hit but I hit back and the birdies that came in were huge and luckily I got one in the play-off.”
MacIntyre was seen as a letdown for the final Ryder Cup games in 2021 after veterans Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter were selected, despite being 10 and 14 places respectively lower on the European points list.
“It’s my only goal for the coming year,” MacIntyre said of making the European Ryder Cup roster. When it comes to team selection, with the future status of players on the LIV Golf series in question for the event, this week is a big step forward for MacIntyre and his 2023 goals.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek