Linlithgow coach behind golfer Robert MacIntyre’s Open success

Robert MacIntyre became the first Scot since Colin Montgomerie 14 years ago to secure a top-10 finish at the Open at Royal Portrush last weekend, but it was a Linlithgow coach who was key to him doing it.

By Craig Turnbull
Thursday, 25th July 2019, 4:42 pm
Andrew Johnston of England high fives Robert MacIntyre of Scotland on the 5th green during the first round of the 148th Open Championship  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Andrew Johnston of England high fives Robert MacIntyre of Scotland on the 5th green during the first round of the 148th Open Championship (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

David Burns (53) coaches up at Kingsfield Golf and first crossed paths with the Oban native three years ago and they immediately clicked.

Since then they’ve been a formidable team and they’re reaping the rewards of the hard work and time invested into practice, as MacIntyre (22) finished sixth in his first major event after carding a 68 on the final day for a five-under par finish.

And it was a double celebration for Burns, as another one of his young protege’s Ruben Lindsay (15) clinched the Scottish Boys Amateur Championship with a one-up matchplay win over Longniddry’s Cameron Gallagher.

Linilthgow coach David Burns (left) who coaches Scot Robert MacIntyre who finished sixth in the Open

Burns told the Journal and Gazette: “That’s what made it a great weekend. He won the Scottish Boys Amateur Matchplay on the same weekend as the Open result.

“It didn’t surprise me but I was overjoyed. When you work with somebody you get an attachment. It’s phenomenal feeling, a coach at any level has to get a buzz even from getting someone from 24 to 18 handicap.

“If you don’t get a buzz from people improving you shouldn’t be coaching simple as that.

In MacIntyre’s case, he said; “Normally at 22-year-old, your first year, you’re desperate to keep your card and if you do that it is a phenomenal year. To do what he has done is just incredible. I don’t think there is a limit to how far he can go.”

Burns had a promising future in golf as a youngster, playing off scratch at 16-year-old before health problems derailed his golfing career, when he suffered mercury poisoning from tooth fillings he had, and was forced to take a 14-year break from the game.

However, he says being back coaching is as good as it gets.

He said: “Every golfer’s dream is to be a Tour player but for me teaching at this level is as good as it can ever be behind that.

“It’s been a strange golfing life for me, I was good when I was very young then I was out of the game completely and basically struggling to get by life in general. So to get myself sorted out health wise and to be back where I am now, sometimes I have to pinch myself.”