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.
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.
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.”