Scotland’s Robert MacIntyre capped a superb debut season on the European Tour by finishing tied 14th in the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai to seal two prestigious awards.
The 23-year-old was named the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year award and also picked up the Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year accolade after finishing 11th on the 2019 Race to Dubai.
He emerged top of the class from a strong crop of rookies which included two multiple winners – American Kurt Kitayama (14th on the Race to Dubai) and Italian Guido Migliozzi (40th), both of whom came through Qualifying School – and fellow Challenge Tour graduate Spaniard Adri Arnaus, who finished 41st.
MacIntyre recorded seven top ten finishes in 30 appearances on the European Tour in 2019, including runner up on three occasions in Made in Denmark, the Betfred British Masters and the Porsche European Open. He also impressed in his Major Championship debut, finishing tied sixth in The Open at Royal Portrush.
Managed to get an autograph from the Rookie of the Year 🖊 pic.twitter.com/q18jFonsoH— Matt Wallace (@mattsjwallace) November 24, 2019
He becomes the tenth Scottish player to win the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year title since the European Tour’s inception in 1972 and the 12th overall.
Winning the prestigious award has laid the platform for some of the European Tour’s greatest careers, including this year’s Race to Dubai Champion Jon Rahm, who won it in two years ago, and notable Scottish names including 1972 winner Sam Torrance, 1978 recipient Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie, who took the honour in 1988.
MacIntyre also became the seventh annual winner of the Challenge Tour Graduate of the Year, finishing as the leading member of the 15 graduates from the previous year, having progressed as the 12th ranked player on the 2018 Challenge Tour Rankings following a season in which he finished runner up twice.
Previous winners of the Challenge Tour Graduate of Year are: Justin Walters (2013), Brooks Koepka (2014), Byeong Hun An (2015), Nacho Elvira (2016) Dylan Fritttelli (2017) and last year’s winner, Erik van Rooyen.
Wild card choices ahead of a wild week
MacIntyre said: “I’m absolutely delighted. Halfway through the season when it became on the radar that we could win both awards, it’s something that we set out to do. Today we’ve finally achieved it and now I’m absolutely over the moon for it.
“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 put in two good rounds this week to seal it off.
“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 mum 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.”