MacIntyre, with dad as caddie, gets tearful Canadian Open win

golf03 June 2024 03:30| © AFP

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre won his first PGA Tour title on Sunday, holding off American playing partner Ben Griffin down the stretch to capture the Canadian Open by one stroke.

The 27-year-old left-hander was in tears after taking the title with his father, Dougie MacIntyre, serving as his emergency caddie for the week.

"I can't believe it, to have him on the bag. I'm crying with joy but I'm laughing because I didn't think it was possible," MacIntyre said, wiping the tears from his face.

"This is the guy that taught me the game of golf. And I just can't believe I've done this with him on the bag."

MacIntyre became the first Scotsman to win a PGA event since Martin Laird at the 2020 Shriners Children's Open, firing a two-under-par 68 to finish on 16-under 264 after 72 holes at Hamilton Golf and Country Club in suburban Toronto.

Griffin, who reeled off three consecutive birdies before a closing par, shot 65 to finish second on 265 with France's Victor Perez third on 266 after a 64. Third-ranked Rory McIlroy and South Korean Tom Kim each shot 64 to share fourth on 267.

World number 76 MacIntyre has two DP World Tour triumphs, most recently at the 2022 Italian Open, but his best prior PGA finish was runner-up in last year's Scottish Open.

"I honestly can't believe this," said MacIntyre. "It's just everything for me and my family, my girlfriend, my team."

Asked about the joy of serving as bagman for his son on a breakthrough triumph, greenskeeper Dougie MacIntyre said, "Unbelievable. I'm a grass cutter," and then began to weep.

"You are a caddie," his son said as he put his arm around him. "You're a caddie."

The elder MacIntyre recalled getting a call the Saturday before tournament week.

"I'm sitting on the couch at home, 8 o'clock on Saturday night. I was like, I can't leave my job. I'm busy at work," Dougie MacIntyre said. "Eight o'clock the next morning I'm on my flight out here, then, wow."

Asked if his father would keep his caddie duty for the next three weeks, which includes the US Open, MacIntyre said his dad's career was strictly one and done.

"No, dad's on the flight home on Monday," Robert MacIntyre said.

MacIntyre led by four strokes when the day began and when MacIntyre curled in a left-to-right birdie putt from 22 feet at 11, his edge was five.

But MacIntyre made bogeys at 12 and 13 before a birdie from just outside five feet at 15 stabilized him, only for 91st-ranked Griffin to make a final charge with birdies at 15, 16 and 17, the middle one on a 40-foot putt, to trail by one at the 18th.

"I was coming down the last and (dad) was trying to tell me to stay focused and swing smooth because yesterday I got a lot too fast," MacIntyre said.

"In my head I wasn't listening to him, I was like, I'm going to win this for my dad."

Griffin left himself a birdie putt from just outside 24 feet at 18 to equal MacIntyre, who had a 10-foot birdie putt. Griffin left his putt four feet short and MacIntyre two-putted for the victory.


World number 109 Perez, a three-time DP World Tour winner whose most recent title came last year at Abu Dhabi, missed out on his first PGA victory but matched his best tour finish, third at March's Puerto Rico Open.

World No 3 Rory McIlroy, a two-time Canadian winner and four-time major champion, birdied four of the first six holes and made another at 12 to reach 12-under.

"I played a great weekend, 11-under," McIlroy said. "It's a really good weekend to build on."