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November 24, 2019

Robert MacIntyre

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

STEVE TODD: Thank you for joining us. I'm delighted to be joined by Robert MacIntyre and European Tour Chief Executive, Keith Pelley. I think we all know why we're here, to present Robert with the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year and also The European Tour Challenge Tour of the Year Graduate trophies.

Keith, if you would like to start by saying a few words, please.

KEITH PELLEY: I would just like to congratulate Robert on what was a brilliant first year on The European Tour. I think we all here agree that he is not only a spectacular player and with seven Top-10s, he had a year worthy of receiving both these awards, but he's also an incredible young man off the course, as well, and it's a testament to his upbringing. We look forward to watching Robert excel on the global stage.

There is no doubt you come from a country that is Rich in history. You're the 10th winner, I believe, of this award, and also the fact that you have won the CT Challenge Tour graduate award, shows how important that particular tour is to the development, and you look at tournaments like I said yesterday, the Rolex Series and the DP World Tour Championship and how that now sets you up on a global stage.

I think you'll play a lot of major championships. I know you'll win a lot of European Tour events, and you should be proud of yourself, and we're certainly proud that you're a Member of The European Tour. So congratulations.

STEVE TODD: Just to reiterate what Keith said, congratulations from all of us in the room. Just tell us how proud you are to win both of these awards.

ROBERT MacINTYRE: I'm absolutely delighted. I mean, halfway through the season when it became on the radar that we could win both events, both awards, so it's something that we set out to do, and today we finally can go to ease that we've finally achieved it, and now I'm absolutely over the moon for it.

STEVE TODD: Give us a sense of the season overall, incredibly consistent season, but the standard of competition for both these awards was itself incredibly high this year.

ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, I've played with Kurt the last three weeks, first rounds. It's obviously been set up to do it. But this week we fell into playing two rounds. 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 putt in two good rounds this week to seal it off.

STEVE TODD: Hopefully this is the start of a very exciting journey in terms of your career. Give us a sense of what the Challenge Tour did for you and how it set you up for this, given you're a Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year.

ROBERT MacINTYRE: Challenge Tour was absolutely brilliant. Actually I went to MENA Tour before that to prepare for Tour School, done Tour School, full card, and missed my first four or five events, missed cuts, and I'm thinking, "Am I good enough?"

I then changed a couple of things. Greg came on the bag, and since Greg's been on the bag, I feel my game -- we are going to make mistakes, but we are both 23 years old. We're young. We're learning.

But The Challenge Tour, the two of us learned our way on there, and to throw in -- I mean, we were down and out all the way until the second-last event on The Challenge Tour. We were sitting 40th place, and then we had an unbelievable event in China, which catapulted us up into Top 15 and held on in the final event and now we're here.

Challenge Tour has made me the player I am today. I've learned how to travel on my own. I've learned how to just spend time in my own company, so no, it couldn't be better.

STEVE TODD: Of course you're not in your own company this week, you have your whole team in the background. How nice to achieve it with everyone here, as well.

ROBERT MacINTYRE: It's why you play golf. I couldn't do it without the support of everyone from Mum, Dad, manager, obviously the swing guru himself, David Burns, he's changed my game, night and day. When I went to see David, 2 1/2, three years ago, I couldn't hit a driver on the planet.

Today we're stepping up with drivers and we're hitting them as hard as we can and we know roughly where they are going to go, and that's part of it. After every round, we sit down and reflect on what's gone on, and we learn from it each week and each day. I can't thank everyone enough.

Q. How satisfying was it finishing the job off today in the company of the Olympic Champion, and playing as well as you did?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yesterday I thought, right, the job's almost done, but I had to go out and still play a good round of golf.

Bit disappointing to finish the way I did. The one on 16. I hit a great shot. We just misjudged the wind. Perfect shot. Expecting it to land six feet from the hole but then tossed it in the water. Overall, that's out of the way. That's done. So now I'm absolutely delighted to win both awards.

Q. I don't mean to curtail your celebrations for this, but what's next? What's your key aim for 2020 and what's the next target in your mind?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: I've been shooting at the Top-50 in the world for the last four or five weeks. We've fallen just short, but the season's opened up doors for me. It's opened up WGC events, which I was going to be playing another few events this year if I was in the position that I've actually found myself in, but I'm calling it a day this year. I've played enough golf.

Next year, if I keep continue to do what I'm doing on the golf course, then in my own head, it's a matter of time.

Q. Was there a break, or what would you say was the breakthrough week or moment for you this year that convinced you to go on to do what you did?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: There's only one week. That was the week off between Morocco and British Masters. We pulled out of the China event on the Friday prior to it. We were in Morocco, missed the cut. I wasn't enjoying golf. Everyone knows I wasn't enjoying golf and everyone on my team -- I didn't even want to be playing golf, if I'm honest with you, that week.

So took the week off. Went and played some Shinty, and then that made me realise what life was about. It was an away game on the bus with the boys enjoying ourselves and made me realise that the job I'm doing isn't a job. You're doing it because you enjoy it, and that's the mind-set I've had for the last 17 events and has made me realise, don't find it a chore. Go and enjoy it every week, every day, and that's what I've done. Here we are.

Q. The fact that you have done so well so quickly, a lot of youngsters coming on to the big tour playing with the famous names become slightly over-awed, but you don't seem to be the slightest bit over-awed, because you've played with most of them now, haven't you.
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Yeah, The Scottish Open, first hole, I mean, I could hardly tee the ball up. That was probably a time where I realised that, right, you can play with these guys. Playing with Rory and Rickie there. That calmed me down.

Now that I went out there today, playing with Justin, played with him in the WGC event in China, you're starting to know guys on a first-name basis and they know you, which is a cool thing. Saying, "Well done, Bob." They are treating you like you're meant to be there, and that's a huge part of feeling comfortable.

Q. I know you have your proud Mum in the back of the room, but when you go back home, do you think she might let you off a couple of days with house duties?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: I'm sure I will be doing house work. I think the first few days, I think my sisters have got it under control at home just now. I'm sure we can go a few days with the house being a bit dirty.

But no, 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 mom 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.

Q. Obviously you got up to the recorder's area, and one of the first guys there was Bernd Weisberger. Can you talk about that? Especially the disappointment looks like he's doing to suffer.
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Bernd has been, probably since the battle in Denmark, Bernd has become someone that I can talk to. His caddie, Jaime Lane, is someone that Greg's become really close to, so it's been good. The two of us have been able to ask questions. Before the weeks, Jamie will give some inside info to Greg and to me. Both of them are all-around great guys, and Bernd, I can't say anything bad about Bernd. He's been a huge part of me. I mean, I've tried to push on. Every week that I'm up there in contention, I'm looking at leaderboards, and I'm seeing Bernd Weisberger chasing me down, and it's been a good battle with him, but unfortunately he's going to come -- looks like he's coming just shy. But coming from the injury that he had, I mean, I'm sure he'd still take what's coming.

But no, no, I'm looking forward to getting many more battles with him.

Q. Obviously it wasn't that long ago you were bridging the two tours, and the MENA Tour. Can you tell me about that journey and how important that was on your rise?
ROBERT MacINTYRE: Well, it was actually my manager, Iain Stoddart, when we finished the Walker Cup, that normally opens an opportunity to play in the Dunhill Links, coming from Scotland.

So I was just trying to prepare as best as I could for Tour School and I was going to go out to the MENA Tour. Iain set up to go out to the MENA Tour as an amateur and I said no to the Dunhill. I felt like that wasn't best way for me to prepare for Tour School.

So we decided to go to the MENA Tour. Then one random day, I just phoned up Iain and goes, "What's the point of going out there as an amateur when we can go out there as a pro and make some money." So that's what we done. Iain sorted it out. Obviously finished third and won my second one.

But no, that prepared me exactly for what I was trying to do, and it done the job that I was trying to do, be fully prepared for Tour School, and I managed to get through Tour School, second and third stage. It's been nonstop since then, and here we are.

STEVE TODD: Bob, congratulations again.

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