Golf: With rise and fall, Euan McIntosh rides

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At some level, WE all have to leave our youth behind. See, there she is, in your rearview mirror, sobbing and smiling as you drive down the long, aging highway.

The advancing years, however, give at least a chance in this Royal & Ancient game to turn back the competitive clock by being Young ‘un again on the Senior Circuit.

Now a sprightly 51 years old, Glasgow-born golfer Euan McIntosh should have been enjoying his first season with the Golden Oldies of the European scene.

McIntosh turned pro for the second time in his career after winning his tour card earlier this year for the newly renamed Legends Tour, three decades after his first leap into the paying ranks.

But then that darn thing for which you’ve certainly read plenty – and that’s the Corona virus, not Trump and Biden – put a big crimp on the plans, and the 2020 Legends Tour has been absolutely cancelled.

It wasn’t just activities that were evaporating. “My game just completely disappeared,” McIntosh said of the kind of deflation you’ll get when a hovercraft pilot finishes his move. “I was just losing interest.

“I played in one of Paul Lawrie’s Carnoustie events, and I shot millions in the second round. It’s been the worst I’ve played in 25 years. I hit the seventh hole with a tee shot and my concentration was just gone. Right then and there, I should have walked off the course.

“It was like someone letting the air out of a balloon. It had been coming, but I hadn’t noticed it. It was bizarre. I thought to myself, ‘That’s enough.’ I needed time to come to terms with the fact that I wouldn’t be playing on the Senior Tour again this year.”

Hopes, hopes and prospects have been put on hold all over the golf course. “I feel for the younger players starting out,” McIntosh said, who at the age of 49 won the 2018 Scottish Amateur Championship, becoming the oldest player to win the title since the celebrated Charlie Green in 1983.

Like many professionals in Scotland and beyond, in search of successful golf, McIntosh joined the hordes of roaming nomads.

How lucky that there are welcoming, proactive souls in the cradle of the game who give shelter to those who are in need.

Paul Lawrie’s newly created Tartan Pro Tour was a valuable addition to the local scene, along with John Henry’s well-established Big Johnson’s Tour and Alan Tait’s new Get Back to Golf Tour, as all types of players, male and female, at least had a chance to keep their instincts reasonably sharp.

“It was something of a godsend at this time of year,” McIntosh admitted of Lawrie’s sequence of events.

Former Open champion Lawrie, who won on the European senior circuit last year in his first season, will be a force to be reckoned with when the 50-plus circuit returns in 2021.

And with McIntosh? Well, he’s loving the possibility that Lawrie and the other decorated names on the senior scene will go toe-to-toe.

In the last round of the event that he won at Montrose, I played with Paul and he was fantastic,”I played with Paul in the last round of the event he won at Montrose and he was fantastic,” “I hadn’t played with Paul since a Scottish PGA Championship in 1994. When you haven’t played with someone for that long, you realize how good they are.”

“But golf is just a number. I only look at the total number I think will win, not who will win it. The senior scene will be tough, but I’m very ready for it. It will be a great challenge. I’ll still be a young man on the tour. I just need to get rid of the extra pounds.”

Don’t any of us have to?

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