Great Scot! MacIntyre battles world No. 1 Johnson to a draw

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Dustin Johnson misses a birdie putt on the 18th green, tying the hole and the match with Robert MacIntyre of Scotland during a second round match at the Dell Technologies Match Play Championship golf tournament Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUSTIN, Texas – Bob MacIntyre grew up playing the rough-and-tumble Scottish sport of shinty, and he had more than enough fight to give Dustin Johnson all he could handle Thursday in the Dell Technologies Match Play.

Johnson had to rally late with an eagle and a clutch birdie to send the match to the final hole, where both players missed birdie chances and settled for a tie.

Neither the world's No. 1 player nor the 24-year-old from the tiny town of Oban were sure what to make of it.

“It was a tough match,” Johnson said. “Ended up making a really good halve, and definitely pleased with it."

MacIntyre, who trailed for most of the front nine at Austin Country Club and led for most of the back nine, walked away with a mixture of satisfaction and disappointment.

Ultimately, both remained in position to advance out of their group to the weekend knockout stage.

“Obviously, I was dying to win that match,” MacIntyre said. “I was in such a great position to do it. But he threw everything at me, and I can be proud of finishing there all square. Inside I'm a little disappointed not to win. But once we walk away from here and drive back to the house, it's going to be, 'You know what? I can compete with these best guys on the planet.”

Some of the best in the planet were eliminated on the second day of round-robin group play.