Robert MacIntyre says he ‘struggled mentally’ in lockdown

Robert MacIntyre revealed he had struggled to deal with the “mental” challenges of lockdown after winning his first European Tour title in Cyprus.

The 24-year-old birdied four of the last six holes to secure a brilliant win at the Cyprus Showdown.

He had made a positive start to 2020 with a top-10 finish at his first event of the season in Dubai – having also won the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year Award last year – but admits he found life tough after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • MacIntyre wins maiden title in Cyprus
  • Final Cyprus Showdown leaderboard

“I struggled mentally from about eight, 10 weeks after lockdown, almost when it opened up slightly – it felt like you were getting released into the open but you were still getting told what to do and that was tough for me.

“The first nine, 10 weeks were fine. I had things to do – I was trying to lose weight, become stronger, I had set myself goals. I was doing it alongside another person from my area and we were on Peloton almost every day, so there was a target.

“When that finished, there was nothing for us to do. I was like, ‘I’m wasting time, I’m wasting away here’ and I just started to struggle.

“But everyone knows that my family are right behind me and the support that I get from them is huge. I spoke to my mum and she guided me in the right directions.

“I went to see Paul, a psychologist, who has helped me, helped me in a huge way. I was coming down the stretch there just knowing what to do – just take your time and be yourself.”

MacIntyre showed signs of form last weekend at the same course as he finished in a tie for third at the Cyprus Open.

He says he’s had the “smile” back on his face over the last fortnight having rediscovered his motivation.

“It was in the back of my mind that I’d lost my game a little bit,” he said. “When I put work in, I know my game will come back.

“I didn’t have the motivation for a wee while, I wasn’t wanting to play golf and wasn’t enjoying it. I finally got the bug back and it’s what happens. You start practising more, enjoying it, you could see the smile on my face last week, never mind this week.

“Mike [Thomson, caddie] was giving good chat, everything was good and we’re finally back to where we’re meant to be.”

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