The Oban man putted really well when he picked up three points out of four in his first outing of 2023 in the inaugural Hero Cup at Abu Dhabi Golf Club just over a month ago only to see the flatstick turn cold in a Rolex Series double-header in the Middle East and also last week’s Singapore Classic.
But, while MacIntyre was annoyed with a three-putt bogey to finish, it was more like it again as far as what he is looking for on the greens as he opened with a four-under-par 68 at Amata Spring Country Club in Chon Buri.
“The last four weeks have been tough on the greens,” admitted the Italian Open champion after an effort that left him sitting four shots off the lead, shared by Finn Sami Valikami and Dane Martin Simonsen, after day one in the first DP World Tour event to be held in Thailand since 2016.
“I’ve done a bit of work on Tuesday and realised it was more mental, not technique. It was about freeing myself and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve changed my pre-shot routine a touch and just trusted my instincts and what I do best, that’s putting a good stroke on it and hoping it goes in.”
Starting at the tenth, MacIntyre opened with three straight birdies and added three more on a card that also contained two bogeys. “I wasn’t happy when I came off,” admitted the left-hander of his dropped shot at the ninth in a group that contained Ryder Cup vice captain Thomas Bjorn.
“But I’m happy with four under. Keep doing the same. I’m driving it well. I’ve really just been waiting on the putter to turn up the last few weeks. Hopefully today is a good sign. It’s a putting competition most weeks, at the end of the day. It’s the best putters or best ball-strikers. Hopefully the putting is there this week.”
Having slipped to 91st in the world rankings, the Scot needs a big finish both here and also in next week’s Hero Indian Open to have a chance of getting into next month’s WGC Match Play in Texas.
“I know that I can do it, it’s just about letting it happen, getting into position,” he said. “I’ve got another two and a half days to get in position and have a go at it.”
Law, who took last week off to recharge his batteries, returned with a round that also contained six birdies while in-from Forrest illuminated his bogey-free opening effort with an eagle-3 at the seventh.
Ewen Ferguson signed for a 70, one less than both Scott Jamieson and Connor Syme, while Marc Warren opened with a par-72.
On a day when 82 players finished in red figures, Valimaki made eight birdies while Sorensen carded an eagle and seven birdies as they set the pace ahead of German duo Alexander Knappe and Yannick Paul.