Robert MacIntyre leading a Scottish Alfred Dunhill Links Championship charge
Scottish golfer Robert MacIntyre says he and his fellow country men are “dying” to get their hands on the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship trophy.
No Scot has won since Colin Montgomerie’s success in 2005, the event then known as the Dunhill Links Championship.
It came during a period of dominance for the nation following on from Stephen Gallacher’s win a year before and a victory for Paul Lawrie in 2001.
It’s been a drought since then but with MacIntyre, who narrowly missed out on a place in Europe’s Ryder Cup team this week, hitting 55th in the world rankings and the likes of Calum Hill and Grant Forrest winning their first European Tour titles in recent months, there is genuine cause for optimism that a Scot will be sitting on top of the Swilken Bridge come next Sunday afternoon.
MacIntyre, from Oban, said: “If I could win the Dunhill Links, as a Scotsman at the home of golf, that’s where I want to be. Everyone knows that the Scots are dying to win this.
“Hopefully I can get in there on the Sunday and give it a go.
"Thankfully there are going to be fans again, which makes life a wee bit easier.
"Some family and friends will come down as well which is always a bonus.”
The Alfred Dunhill Links Championship is played over three of the greatest links courses in the world: the Old Course at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
MacIntyre was brought up playing links golf and is hoping some traditional Scottish weather will greet the players across the four days.
"I want it to be blowing from the start," he added.
"It separates everyone a wee bit.
"If you’re not striking it or if your short game’s not brilliant then you’re never going to get away with it.
"I love links golf, I’ve grown up with it, but it’s not easy when it goes against you.
“I’m really looking forward to getting the week going and get into a position to win the golf tournament.”
As well as Hill, from Kinross, other Scots battling to win back the title next week will include Drumoig’s Connor Syme.
Tickets for the first three days at all courses are free for spectators but must be booked in advance from www.alfreddunhilllinks.com