Robert MacIntyre says Oak Hill‘s East Course is the toughest layout he’s ever played as he prepares for his 11th Major appearance at the 2023 PGA Championship.
The Scot has made the cut in his previous 10 Major starts, the joint-longest active streak of anyone in the men’s game, but expects to be tested to the limit at the New York venue.
Originally a Donald Ross design, Andrew Green led a restoration project that saw more than 600 trees removed, while the greens were made bigger and the bunkers more penal. Length was also added to guard against the ever-increasing hitting distances, but it’s another feature that has MacIntyre in “damage limitation” mode before a ball has even been struck.
“I have to be honest, it’s as tough a golf course as I’ve ever played in my life, and I think the majority of people would say the same,” MacIntyre said. “It’s just the rough. It’s a great layout. It’s long, it’s tough, but the rough just makes it the hardest golf course I’ve ever played in my life. That’s what it does. It’s plain and simple.
“There’s going to be lots of dropped shots. It’s just about limiting them and taking your chances when they come along. There’s not going to be a lot of chances, but there’s going to be enough to keep it honest, and just play golf the way you know how to play golf.
“If you hit the shots you want to hit, if you hit them well, they’ll go where you want them to go, it’s just about damage limitation at times.”
MacIntyre arrived in New York on the back of a disappointing title defence at the DP World Tour’s Italian Open. The 26-year-old was forced to retire before his second round due to a back injury, while he has also had his left arm taped. Despite that, he insists his body and his game are in good shape as he targets a positive result that will boost his Ryder Cup hopes.
“The game has been really good,” he added. “Obviously the body wasn’t great in Italy, but it’s really good now. It’s feeling as good as it has in a while. The game is still decent, but again, it’s going to be on a golf course that is an absolute monster.
“Obviously it [the Ryder Cup] is my main goal, but as I say all the time, if it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. It’s not going to change the way I play golf, the way I live my life. I’m just going to be the same. But this week could be a good place to show your golf. This is as big a test of your golf that you’ll ever get.”
MacIntyre gets going at this year’s PGA Championship at 12.58pm local time…
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