It wasn’t quite a last resort, but the call had a tone of desperation.

After parting ways with a former caddie at the Charles Schwab Challenge, Robert MacIntyre needed a fill-in for the RBC Canadian Open. A handful of queries went unfulfilled, so MacIntyre dialed up his emergency option – his dad Dougie.

The Scotsman didn’t want to inconvenience his father, who still resides in MacIntyre’s hometown of Oban, Scotland, and works full-time as head greenkeeper at Glencruitten Golf Club – but Dougie MacIntyre knows his son’s game inside and out. He coached him until he was 14 or 15 years old and was an accomplished shinty player, only without the funds to pursue his full potential at the sport’s highest level (MacIntyre describes shinty as “a cross between field hockey and organized violence”).

Dougie MacIntyre hadn’t caddied since DP World Tour Q-School in fall 2017, but this week marked a critical juncture in his son’s first season as a PGA TOUR member – the highly touted MacIntyre, 27, arrived in Canada at No. 75 on the FedExCup standings, right on the bubble to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs (top 70 after the Wyndham Championship in August). The call was made, and the answer was a quick yes – after confirming he could take the week off from work.

That call led to more than they could have imagined. MacIntyre earned his first PGA TOUR title at the RBC Canadian Open, carding a final-round 68 at Hamilton Golf & Country Club for a 16-under 264 total, one stroke clear of Ben Griffin. Not only does he get the proverbial monkey off his back, after a gripping one-stroke defeat to Rory McIlroy at last summer’s Genesis Scottish Open, but MacIntyre cements exempt PGA TOUR status through 2026 and qualifies for this season’s remaining Signature Events. (He’s also safely inside the top 60 in the Official World Golf Ranking, meaning he can cancel his Monday tee time at 36-hole U.S. Open Final Qualifying, in which his dad was also planning to carry the bag.)

Dougie MacIntyre is the first father to caddie his son to a PGA TOUR title since Jack Slocum (for son Heath) at the 2005 Southern Farm Bureau Classic. This isn’t a permanent arrangement by any means; MacIntyre said he has a full-time caddie scheduled to start at next week’s Memorial Tournament presented by Workday – which is a new addition to his schedule after his victory in Canada. (He might have liked to return home to Oban for some celebrations, he quipped afterward, but he figures a trip to Muirfield Village isn’t a bad idea.)

MacIntyre is a chip off the old block, known on TOUR for his kindness and humility – which he certainly inherited from his father. MacIntyre’s parents (Dougie and mom Carol) are longtime foster parents; MacIntyre grew up with several foster brothers and sisters. The family wasn’t particularly well off; MacIntyre didn’t have the pick of the litter when it came to junior golf tournaments, but he was always loved, supported and encouraged. He grew to understand the rough upbringings of his foster brothers and sisters – some had been abused or neglected – and he learned not to take anything for granted. After his son’s victory Sunday in southern Ontario, Dougie MacIntyre gave away golf balls and towels to young fans, conversing and sharing in their revelry. He was in full dad effect.

“I think it makes you realize that hitting a white ball around a golf course isn’t the most important thing,” MacIntyre described the impact of his parents’ fostering. “I mean, I’ve been in tears over it, kids going away from you. They become family. They have been in a tough spot. I wasn’t given everything as a kid. I was given a great opportunity. My dad was obviously a really good sportsman, football, golf, shinty, didn’t have the finances to really chase it, and I think it was something that my mom and dad always wanted to do. I’ve got two older sisters who are right into their horses, horse riding and stuff, but they even sacrificed quite a lot of that just to give me a chance.

“I couldn’t play in golf tournaments as a junior because we couldn’t afford it. I think that made me, that makes me fight and never give up, I think not being given anything. I mean, they gave me quite a bit. They gave me the opportunity, but never – never was I spoon-fed. I was always fighting for every bit of it.”

Dougie MacIntyre’s soft side complements a competitive edge that was also on display at Hamilton Golf & Country Club, coming to the forefront at critical moments on the weekend. The younger MacIntyre was on the verge of falling into a mental rut as he strode down the 10th fairway Saturday, having turned in 1-over 36 and sensing his grip on the tournament slipping away (he entered the third round in a share of the lead; he was four back at the turn Saturday). His dad sensed the spiral and wanted to nip it in the bud – MacIntyre has emphasized an improved mental game in recent weeks, taking negative thoughts and flipping them into a positive tone.

“He was having a wee go at me when I was walking from the 10th tee down to the fairway,” MacIntyre said. “Look, he was a sporting guy, he knows how to win, knows how to lose, he’s been through it all. He could see my head going a little bit and he’s like, ‘What have you been working on for the last eight weeks, 10 weeks?’ … I kind of flipped into that mode and tried to find the positive in everything.”

MacIntyre listened on the very next hole. After his tee shot caught a divot in the 11th fairway, he could have been “mumping and moaning about it,” but he told himself the lie lent itself to a cutty 6-iron. He played a 183-yard approach to the center of the green and two-putted from 20 feet. Then he played his next seven holes in 4-under, signing for a 4-under 66 and suddenly assuming a four-stroke lead into Sunday, where he withstood Griffin’s late charge (birdies on Nos. 15, 16 and 17) for a one-stroke win that he and his dad will remember forever.

The energy of their shared hug on the 18th green Sunday, amidst the cacophony of adoring Canadian fans, was surely felt back home in Oban. It’s where MacIntyre learned the game and what it meant to be a man. Both things coalesced this weekend, under the watchful eye of the man who has been there all the way.

“Unbelievable,” said Dougie MacIntyre on the 18th green in the aftermath, basking in the moment with tears in his eyes. He could barely speak, but the emotion said it all.




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