Robert MacIntyre’s hopes for a low-key debut in the ASI Scottish Open may have gone out of the window, but the rising Scottish star is relishing being part of a marquee group at The Renaissance Club.
MacIntyre will partner four-time major winner Rory McIlroy and 2015 champion Rickie Fowler in the opening two rounds of the £5.5million event as he continues to enjoy a successful maiden season on the European Tour.
The 22-year-old left-hander secured back-to-back runners-up finishes in the British Masters and Made in Denmark event and secured an Open Championship debut at Royal Portrush by virtue of his lofty position on the Race to Dubai.
“Next week is going to be unbelievable but for me the Scottish Open is the one I’ve always wanted to win,” MacIntyre said. “I just think it’s what you’ve dreamed of as a little kid.
“I’m just going to have to try and play my own game. There’s quite a bit of hype but I’ll try and keep it as low-key as I can.
“To be in the Scottish Open is a dream. I’ve watched them for years so to be here now, competing, is very special.”
Asked about being in the same group as McIlroy and Fowler, MacIntyre added: “Well, got to be thrown in at the deep end at some point I suppose.
“To be out with them in your first Scottish Open is pretty special. I suppose people are seeing I’ve been doing well, so it’s like a ‘well done, here you are’.
“To get this draw does add a little bit to the hype but I’m trying to keep it as normal as possible. Obviously the nerves are going to be big on the first tee and the driving range, but I’m sure once we get going, we’ll be all right.
“I’m going to learn from this. It’s another step in the learning experience for me. In my first year I’ve had quite a few already and this is going to be another one. It’s going to be another special week and not just for me, but my family as well.”
The Renaissance Club is staging a European Tour event for the first time, but MacIntyre is one of a handful of players in the field to have prior experience of playing the exclusive venue.
“I’ve played it about four or five times, in Open qualifying, stuff like that,” the former Walker Cup player added. “I played the front nine on Monday and it’s completely different with some of the back tees in play. It’s going to be a great test.
“If the wind blows it’s going to be as tough as anywhere.”