GolfDifferent Strokes

Bob MacIntyre overcomes drone annoyance for first PGA Tour win

Charley Hull’s smoking captures attention; Philip Walton’s win 29 years ago; Irish golfers heading for Cadiz

Robert MacIntyre of Scotland plays shot at the Canadian Open. Photograph: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty

It is fair to say Bob MacIntyre is no fan of drones, and their constant nuisance buzzing at the RB Canadian Open.

The Scottish left-hander’s breakthrough PGA Tour win in his rookie season has ensured his tour card until the end of 2026, earned him spots in the big-money signature events (starting with this week’s Memorial tournament), a place in next week’s US Open at Pinehurst and next year’s Masters.

But those drones turned out to be the biggest nuisance as he navigated a route to victory. “If it didn’t go away, I was going to start throwing my clubs at it. That’s how annoyed I was ... when everyone’s silent, all you can hear is, I mean, it’s a big wasp,” said MacIntyre.

Indeed, MacIntrye made three different requests for the drone to move before a rules official managed to clear the air. “I told her, ‘the drone is annoying me, the drone’s putting me off, it’s too close’. It’s easier when the blimp is up there. I had a job to do ... I was focused and that drone was doing my head.”

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Charley Hull captures attention for smoking at US Women’s Open

Charley Hull has vowed to quit smoking, just not immediately!

The self-styled Queen of Glam – who has almost half a million followers on Instagram – went viral in recent days after a photo of her signing autographs at the US Women’s Open, complete with cigarette in mouth, was posted.

For someone who is more noted for posting videos of gym workouts, smoking was out of kilter with the English golfer’s image.

Hull – who has revealed she has ADHD – claimed she actually detests smoking but took it up as a deterrent to vaping.

“I hate smoking. I used to curse at my dad when I was younger for smoking but I think [smoking] has to do a little bit when I’m stressed. I was a bit stressed last year and I just kind of vaped, and I wanted to stop vaping, and even through smoking is not better than vaping, it’s just you can vape indoors all the time. I thought if I smoke, I’m going to go outside and smoke a cigarette.

“When it’s a slow round on the golf course I smoke quite a few more than I should ... I will stop soon. It’s just when?”

Hull finished tied-19th in the US Open at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania, which was won by Japan’s Yuka Saso.

Word of Mouth

“I probably need to call my eye doctor,” said Ben Griffin, after his runner-up finish to Bob MacIntyre in the RB Canadian Open earned him an exemption into this week’s $20 million purse Memorial tournament at Jack’s Place in Muirfield Village. Griffin was originally scheduled to have eye surgery. “I’m going to have to figure that out because I do need (surgery) before my retina detaches.”

By the Numbers: 8

No doubt where the largest contingent of Irish golfers will be this week! There are eight Irish players in the field for the Cadiz Challenge on the Challenge Tour – Robert Moran, Gary Hurley, Conor Purcell, Jonny Caldwell, Dermot McElroy, Ruaidhrí McGee, Ronan Mullarney and John Murphy – in Sancti Petri in Andalucía.

On this day: June 4th, 1995
Ireland's Philip Walton. Photograph: Graham Chadwick/Allsport

Philip Walton was a hard man to beat when it came to head-to-head combat, as he proved in defeating Colin Montgomerie in a play-off for the Murphy’s English Open at the Forest of Arden, outside Birmingham.

Just a couple of months earlier the Malahide man had won the Catalonia Open (beating runner-up Andrew Coltart by three strokes) and later in the year would be an integral part of Europe’s Ryder Cup win at Oak Hill where he his win over Jay Haas in the penultimate singles was pure emotion.

Walton’s third – and last – career win on the European Tour came in the English Open where rounds of 65-70-69-70 for a total of 14-under-par 274 left him level with Monty, the perennial number one on the order of merit.

The Irishman and the Scot had each shown their mettle in the final round. Montgomerie had managed four birdies in an outward 34 to edge a shot in front but Walton drew level again on the 10th where he hit a low running shot to three feet. At the death, they were still locked together, but Walton’s birdie at the second tie hole saw him claim the win.

X-Twitter Twaddle

The Lads from Oban have done it!! So happy for @robertlefty. To claim his 1st PGA Tour with his pops on the bag is so cool and so special – Europe’s Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald tipping the cap to both MacIntyres, Bob and Dougie.

So happy for @robertlefty! He’s a great kid. Even more special of a victory with his pops on the bag #GoOnBob – Billy Horschel showing even the Yanks love Mac.

LPGA golf swings have improved so much in the last 10 yrs. I always felt like before, there wasn’t enough strength/structure and because of their flexibility, there would be some weird club and body positions. Min Jee, Nelly, Yuka Saso, and many others have such good swings – Michael Kim recognising the ever-improving quality of players on the LPGA Tour.

In the Bag

Bob MacIntyre - RBC Canadian Open

Driver – Titleist TSR2 (9 degrees)

3-wood – Cobra Aerojet LS (14.5 degrees)

Hybrid – TaylorMade Stealth 2 Rescue (19 degrees)

Irons – Titleist 620 CB (4-9)

Wedges – Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (46 degrees), Vokey Design SM9 (50 and 56 degrees)

Putter – TaylorMade Spider Tour

Ball – Titleist ProV1

Know the Rules

Q As a player was searching in a pile of leaves, they accidentally kicked and moved their ball as well as a number of the leaves around the ball. The player estimated where the ball originally lay and replaced it on that spot but did not replace the leaves before making their next stroke. What is the ruling?

A There is no penalty (Rule 7.4 and Clarification 7.4/1): there is no penalty for accidentally moving the ball while trying to find it. In replacing the ball, the player is not required to replace loose impediments.