Robert MacIntyre Gets Huge Slice Of Luck As Scot Battles To Secure Ryder Cup Spot

MacIntyre occupies the final automatic spot in the European points list and was slightly fortunate to make the cut at the European Masters after a lucky bounce late in his second round

Robert MacIntyre hits a shot during the 2023 European Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While the US Ryder Cup team may already have been decided earlier this week, Europe's best male golfers continue to scrap away for vital points as they look to secure their place in the biennial competition taking place later this month at Marco Simone.

This week's European Masters offers the last chance for such players to gain points, with a number of golfers in contention for a Captain's pick and the final automatic spot from the European points list.

Heading into the week, that spot was held by Robert MacIntyre, and the Scot received his fair share of a good break as he battled away to make the cut in the second round. 

Well into his back nine, MacIntyre's drive on the 14th flew right off the tee, with the ball seemingly destined for the out-of-bounds fence beyond the rough. Yet, in a huge break of good fortune, his ball bounced around before flying back out into the light rough. 

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From there, MacIntyre was able to make par on the par-five, before navigating the final few holes in even-par to make the cut on the number at -3. That vital break may well be the key difference between him making his Ryder Cup debut later this month or watching from the sidelines.

The Scot, however, does still have a battle on his hands to maintain his automatic spot in the rankings after the impressive second-round performance of Adrian Meronk. The Pole surged up the leaderboard after a six-under-par 64 and will start the weekend inside the top five.

It could have been even better had it not been for been for a bogey-double bogey finish from the reigning Italian Open champion, but the 30-year-old still remains within touching distance of usurping MacIntyre into the final automatic spot. 

Elsewhere on the leaderboard, 36-hole leader Matt Fitzpatrick could well rise above Tommy Fleetwood to secure the final automatic spot from the World Points list, although it's highly likely that both will be part of Luke Donald's 12-man team regardless.

The real battle could come for the final captain's pick with Ludvig Aberg and Nicolai Hojgaard making their case for one of Donald's picks. Aberg has burst onto the Ryder Cup radar after an impressive start since turning professional in June. 

The Swede finished T4 at last week's Czech Masters and is inside the top five once again after two rounds at the European Masters. Hojgaard, meanwhile, finished third last week and currently sits at T8 in this week's standings. 

Ben Fleming

Ben joined Golf Monthly having completed his NCTJ in multimedia sports journalism at News Associates, London. He has covered a variety of sports and has also worked as a freelance journalist for The Independent and Stats Perform. An avid, albeit distinctly average golfer, he is a member of Nevill Golf Club. One of his best golfing moment was winning a 100/1 bet on Seamus Power and Thomas Detry to finish first and second at the 2022 Bermuda Championship.