Thousands of miles and a continent away, Robert MacIntyre watched in horror as Hurricane Laura struck in late August. A Category 4 storm when it hit the Louisiana coast, the hurricane ripped through the community of Lake Charles, destroying homes and businesses and causing damage to McNeese State University, where MacIntyre played on the school’s golf team in 2014 and 2015.
“Obviously, I have friends and pals who are still living there and are from there,” said the 24-year-old Scottish professional.
So just prior to teeing it up in the 120th U.S. Open at Winged Foot, MacIntyre came up with an idea to give back to that community. Joining forces with three of his sponsors – Aberdeen Assets, the Orion Group and Arnold Clark, a car dealership in Glasgow – the left-hander crafted a plan to donate $3,500 of his own money for every birdie or better he registered at Winged Foot to the Campus Emergency Fund at McNeese State. Each sponsor agreed to add a donation of 500 pounds.
Through three rounds, MacIntyre, who represented Great Britain and Ireland on the 2017 Walker Cup Team and is a two-time Scottish Amateur champion, has posted eight birdies, bringing his total to nearly $45,000.
“I can’t do anything sitting at home in Scotland,” said MacIntyre, who made the cut on the number (6-over 146) and sits at 12-over 222 through 54 holes. “The platform that I am able to be on gives me the opportunity [to help]. It’s a small amount that I’m giving. [But I was] brought up in a family that always tries to help with two foster kids at home.”
MacIntyre might not be in contention to take home the U.S. Open title in his first appearance – he got into the all-exempt field by being among the top 70 points leaders in the Official World Golf Ranking – but the up-and-coming European Tour player is doing what he can to help.
“This is the first time I’ve ever decided to raise money like this,” said MacIntyre, the European Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2019. “It’s a substantial amount for me.
“Hopefully four or five birdies [on Sunday]. That’s all I’ve got to play for. I’m just trying to raise as much money as I can.”