December 10, 2020
Jumeirah Golf Estates
Q. You keep on doing what you've been doing as of late, playing some lovely golf, a 68 today. When Tim spoke to you on the course you had just made that monster of a putt to go 4-under and you said it's all about keeping the pedal to the metal. How hard is that to do out there today?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, it's difficult. I didn't drive it great today, so I was always in a bit of trouble here and there, but we took our punishment. When I'm in position I'm attacking pins, and that's what you've got to do. If you're in position, you go at it. If not, you play the percentages and try and make par almost. Other than that, it's a golf course that I like. It suits my eye, so just going to try and keep doing what I'm doing.
Q. How do you learn the skill of shooting 68 and being able to come off the course and think, my driving wasn't really where I wanted it to be? Where do you learn that skill?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: I think it's all about having that complete game, try and almost have a complete game. I feel my putting has come on leaps and bounds in the last eight weeks. My stats were horrific at the start of the year, but now they're coming on, and last week I had some of the best -- well, I did have the best putting round I've had in my life.
So if you've got the putter going, it doesn't matter where you hit it, you're going to hole them. That's the attitude I'm taking out there the last couple weeks.
Q. I think we're thinking you're going to go on to win tons of tournaments, tens of millions of dollars along the way, as well. If week if you were to win, $3 million would be almost what you've won so far in your career to this point.
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yep.
Q. $3 million for four days of golf, what does that mean to you when you see that sort of price tag on it? How much are you aware of that stuff?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: You're aware of it. Me and Mike had a good laugh about it. But again, it's something at the end of the journey. It's not -- I can't do anything about that $3 million. I can only hit a good tee shot off the 1st tomorrow and see where we are come Sunday afternoon hopefully. Hopefully we've got that in the bank.
Q. Can you talk us through that round?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, I wasn't playing my best stuff at the start, but I holed some great putts early on, and then just kind of hung in there. The back nine is a little bit tougher, a little bit longer. But you've got to take your chances when they come, and I didn't really have many chances on the back nine, but on the front nine when I had a chance I took it, and that's where the score is what it is.
Q. You mentioned the putts, some of which were from a different postcode. Can you talk us through some of the really long ones, please?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, I said it last year, I got a feel with the putter. Last week it wasn't there, this week it's there. The pace of the greens are up this week, so a lot of time you get downhill putts and it's just about getting the ball on line. You don't really have to worry about how I'm hitting it. Yeah, the putter feels great in the hands, and it's just about trusting your line and committing to what you do, and that's what we done today, and I managed to hole a few.
Q. The one on 7, was that a bonus after missing the green?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, it was. It's still a par-5. It was right on the limit for the 5-wood, so I'm trying to hit it as hard as I can. It was 254 to cover the bunker. I hit it hard and I lost it a little left, but it's the miss. If you miss it in that front bunker there's no way you're making birdie, so I've missed it in the right spot. It was a wee bit too far off line, but no, we're still in position to make birdie.
Q. Obviously great start and with a chance of winning the Race to Dubai, obviously a long way to go, but if I said to you in March or February that you'd be in this position at the end of the year, what would you have said to me?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Thanks very much. My golf is good. When I put in the graft and put in the practice, my golf is good. Obviously as everyone knows, I wasn't practising as hard. I wasn't enjoying it as much. But I've got the bug back. I've got the right people around me, and I'm just pushing on and see where we end up on Sunday.
Q. The chance to go from Rookie of the Year to winning the Race to Dubai, what would that mean to you?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: It would mean everything, not just to me but to the whole team. But again, it's a long, long way away. Just got to keep doing what we're doing.
Q. You're putting very well at the moment. Is there any particular reason for that? Have you put more work into it or gotten more advice or whatever?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, we're just working on a little bit technique-wise. I was struggling a little bit, as everyone knows, with putting. But yeah, I've been working -- Graeme Leslie has been working with me on my stats on my putting, and he's definitely helped me to get to this point. But it's just trusting what I'm doing, those little fundamentals that I've got to do, and it's been working the last kind of eight, nine weeks.
Q. Graeme Leslie, remind us who he is?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, he does Golf Data Lab, the stats. I call him my stats geek. But he's helped me with my putting, as has Davy. Davy keeps an eye on it when we're out here playing on Tour. But no, the putter is back feeling the way it was last year.
Q. From last year, a year ago, you played this tournament. How much has the course changed if it's changed at all?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: I thought it was tougher this year. The fairways are narrower. The rough is longer. It's not as thick I would say, but it's longer, and the greens aren't as firm yet, but the weather here, they can do whatever they want with these greens.
Q. I was just wondering how much confidence you've taken from becoming a European Tour winner and whether your game feels any different at the moment as a result of that.
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Not at all. My game is in the same shape. I probably have definitely more belief in myself to know I can go on and do it. Changing the game, no, not at all. It's just been play my own golf and just see where we end up.
Q. Any messages of support from back home?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Yeah, the support is huge back home. Even here this week, we're on, I guess, the 17th, the side of the 17th tee they're cheering me on. No, it's great, the support that I've got all over the place has been brilliant, and it just keeps you pushing on.
Q. Anything special over at the club or anything like that?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: No, everyone messages me. That's part of the club. There's no one specific.
Q. Of the six birdies, which is the pick of the birdies today do you think?
ROBERT MACINTYRE: Probably the 45-footer on the 7th. I was out of position, played a pitch. I was short-sided, played a pitch to 45 feet and then managed to hole a nice putt.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports