Edinburgh ace Euan McIntosh reveals battle to win Senior Pro tour card

Golfer had the yips
Euan Mcintosh, Andrew Riatt, Michael Long, David Morland IV and Carl Suneson promote the tourEuan Mcintosh, Andrew Riatt, Michael Long, David Morland IV and Carl Suneson promote the tour
Euan Mcintosh, Andrew Riatt, Michael Long, David Morland IV and Carl Suneson promote the tour

Euan McIntosh is back in the professional ranks and ready to lock horns with Ryder Cup stars Paul Lawrie and Philip Price on the European senior tour. Not bad for someone who was hitting his driver sideways and had the yips with both pitching and putting when he returned to the game after a spell when he hardly picked up a club.

“When I started back at Turnhouse, I just wanted to get a handicap to play with my friends in medals,” said McIntosh. “Then, in my first two medal rounds, I shot over 90 and NR’d (didn’t return his card) out of embarrassment.”

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Fast forward and he is now preparing himself for an exciting rookie season on the Staysure Tour after securing one of just five full cards up for grabs in last week’s Qualifying School final in Portugal.

It was mission accomplished for McIntosh, having failed 12 months ago and also in two attempts to get on to the Champions Tour in the US.

“It feels really good as the plan I put in place to try and achieve this worked,” he added.

That entailed getting himself competitive again in the amateur ranks over the past few years, during which time he became the oldest player since the great Charlie Green to win the Scottish Amateur Championship.

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McIntosh was 49 when he achieved that feat at Blairgowrie around 18 months ago, having been reinstated to the non-paid ranks with this new career back in the pro game mind. “It’s natural for people to think he’s just used the amateur events to get ready for pro golf again, but I hadn’t played a professional round in ten years and lucky if I’d play 30 times over that period.

“I had the yips with pitching and putting and hit it sideways with the driver when I started back, but golf is an amazing game and I was hooked on trying to get better. So I gave it everything and each week my goals became higher and higher after each week that passed to the point where I thought maybe it’s possible to try and get ready for a shot at seniors tour.”

His success in the card contest for Europe’s over-50s circuit has been picked up by lots of people in the game, including Solheim Cup captain Catriona Matthew.

“All the messages I’ve had have blown me away,” he admitted. “Catriona was one of the first people to write me a message when I won the Scottish Am in 2018, which was really nice of her, and shows the kind of person she is.”

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McIntosh will be flying the Saltire on the 2020 Staysure Tour along with Lawrie, last season’s Rookie of the Year, as well as fellow Lothians man Andrew Oldcorn and also Gary Orr. “I won’t do anything different to how I’ve prepared for the amateur events for the last four years,” said the new recruit. “The schedule is out hopefully in the next week, so I can plan what events to play.”

He’s also in the fortunate position of having teed up some sponsorship for this opportunity. “I spoke to a friend at the end of 2017 on what I was trying to do,” he added.

“He thought it was great and wanted to help when I started the Q Schools in America and Europe in 2019 but wants to remain anonymous. No matter what happens this season, I’m definitely going back to America and the Champions Tour Q School as I loved the experience over the past two years.

“Golf is just you against the golf course and a number comes at the end of each round. So, if I can continue to focus on that, not get star-struck and keep working the way I have, then hopefully a few results will come of that.”

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In addition to his individual successes in recent years, McIntosh also helped Turnhouse claim two Edinburgh Summer League title triumphs in 2016 and 2018. “Turnhouse members have been fantastic sending me messages when I’ve been playing and always taking time to ask how it’s been going,” he said of the support he’s received from the Capital club.

“Scottish golf has also helped me and Ian Rae, the national coach, has been great, helping me a lot with how I think about golf.”