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Canadian Open: Robert MacIntyre clings on to claim first PGA Tour title

Rory McIlroy, who started the day seven off the lead, pulled to within two after a run of three-straight birdies before finishing tied for fourth; watch the Scandinavian Mixed and Memorial Tournament live on Sky Sports this week

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Highlights from day four of the 2024 Canadian Open in Hamilton, Ontario

Scotland's Robert MacIntyre recovered from a shaky start and held off a host of challengers to win his first PGA Tour title at the RBC Canadian Open.

MacIntyre carded a two-under final round of 68 at Hamilton Golf and Country Club to finish 16 under par, a shot ahead of Ben Griffin.

Griffin had piled on the pressure with birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th to close within one of his playing partner, but could not find a fourth in a row on the last to potentially force a play-off.

Victor Perez finished one stroke further back, while Rory McIlroy and Tom Kim tied for fourth at 13 under. McIlroy, who started the day seven off the lead, pulled to within two at one point after a run of three straight birdies through the sixth hole.

Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, tees off on the fourth hole during the final round of the Canadian Open golf tournament in Hamilton, Ontario, Sunday, June 2, 2024. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Image: Rory McIlroy was two shots off the lead at one point before finishing tied for fourth

MacIntyre had the luxury of two-putting from 10 feet at the 18th hole, embracing his father Dougie upon his win, who had been called on to caddie at short notice.

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Robert MacIntyre and his caddie father tear up following him claiming his first PGA Tour title at the Canadian Open

Asked why he was so emotional at the win, MacIntyre gestured to his dad as he told CBS: "Because of this.

"I'm speechless, to be honest. This is just everything for me and family, my girlfriend, my team. I can't believe I've done it with him on the bag.

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"I'm crying with joy but I'm laughing because I didn't think it was possible."

MacIntyre had seen his four-shot overnight lead wiped out in the space of four holes after he bogeyed the first and home favourite Mackenzie Hughes made a hat-trick of early birdies.

However, MacIntyre responded superbly to birdie the fourth, seventh and eighth to regain control of the event, despite having to ask for a drone being used for the television coverage to be moved on several occasions before he finally got his wish.

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Robert Macintyre fumed after a TV coverage drone distracted him by getting too close at the RBC Canadian Open

Another birdie on the 11th was followed by a wild tee shot on the 12th into a water hazard and another bogey on the 13th opened the door for the chasing pack, but the Ryder Cup star crucially birdied the 15th and safely parred the last three holes.

MacIntyre has made no secret of his struggle to adapt to living in the United States this season, but benefited hugely from a three-week spell back in Scotland in April and contended for the Myrtle Beach Classic before finishing eighth in the US PGA Championship.

'I am a grass cutter, not a caddie'- MacIntryre duo reflect on emotional win

There were visibly emotional scenes following the Scotsman's win, with his father tearing up at the experience they had shared together as his son powered through tough times on his rookie PGA Tour year to a huge victory.

Indeed, on the Monday morning before the tournament, Robert MacIntyre had to work hard to get his dad into the venue because he didn't have any credentials, epitomising the incredible week they had as MacIntyre's father's caddie fee looks set to make his parents mortgage free.

"Unbelievable. Yeah. I'm a grass cutter, not a caddie, Sorry. Honestly, it's unbelievable," MacIntyre's father said.

"I got phoned, last Saturday night you phoned me? I'm sitting on the couch at home 8 o'clock Saturday night and I'm like, 'Can I leave my job? I was busy at work.

"Of course you can."

"Aye. 8 o'clock the next morning I'm on a flight out here and ... wow."

MacIntyre reflected on the sacrifices his parents and sisters have made for him to achieve his dream and also how having foster brothers and sisters growing up shaped him as a person.

"I think it makes you realise that hitting a white ball around a golf course isn't the most important thing," MacIntyre said after his win.

"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 mum 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 mean, 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."

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