Going by the widely accepted, nod and wink tradition that the caddie tends to get paid around 10 per cent of their boss’s winnings, the last five months or so have been pretty lucrative for Kevin McAlpine.

The former Scottish Amateur champion continues to enjoy a profitable alliance with the world No 3, Lexi Thompson. In the time they have worked together, Thompson has earned upwards of $900,000. Take that aforementioned cut of the winnings into the equation and you don’t need to be sitting on the board of the Institute of Mathematicians to figure out that McAlpine has made a tidy sum.

“It has been life changing and I’ve probably earned more these last few months than I have in the last three or four years,” said the son of the former Dundee United goalkeeper, Hamish. “It’s different looking at the bank balance and smiling now. It’s been quite a wild ride.”

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With a victory and a succession of runners-up finishes to their name, McAlpine and Thompson head to Scotland this week for the RICOH Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns with plenty of purpose. The fact McAlpine knows the Fife links like the back of his hand, having spent plenty of time heaving bags around its various nooks and crannies, adds to the sense of impetus.

Thompson originally wanted to hire McAlpine for the British event but a change in her circumstances led to the Scot getting the call much earlier. He quit his job as an area rep with a golf equipment company, headed to the US and hasn’t looked back since. It’s not been all plain-sailing, of course.

Thompson was on her way to winning the second Major of her career in April’s ANA Inspiration until she was controversially penalised four strokes after a viewer had contacted LPGA Tour officials to point out that she had wrongly replaced her ball on the putting green during the final round. The prolonged, well-documented palaver, which eventually led to the governing bodies changing the rule to limit the influence of the armchair whistle blowers, caused considerable debate and teeth gnashing as Thompson ended up losing in a play-off.

“She has certainly moved on and it’s not crushed her,” said McAlpine. “It will continue to be a sore point but it’s made her more determined to win a Major.

“The whole incident took a while to hit me. For a long time I was bit like, ‘did that really happen?’. I did think it was pretty unfair. We were cruising along

It didn’t hit me until after. It like ‘did that really happen?’ When I look back, it’s one of those things that happen all the time, I thought it was pretty unfair. We were cruising along and then that happened. I had to give credit to her for the way she fought back to get into the play-off. I was in shock as well so couldn’t really do much. I just had to try to get her back in the game as she was playing well. It wasn’t the end of the world but it was the shock that hurt her more than anything else.”

Adapting to the links environment will be the challenge for Thompson but the 22-year-old will arrive in the east neuk as one of the favourites for success in a stellar field featuring 24 Major champions. “I think she’ll appreciate my experience a lot more here than over in the US where I’m not as familiar with some of the courses,” McAlpine noted. “Perhaps there will be a bit more pressure on us from other people to do well at Kingsbarns. It will be interesting, but as long as we are in the mix then I’ll be happy.”

McAlpine’s largely unfulfilling stint as a touring professional was hindered by niggling injuries but the return to his homeland as a trusted aide to one of the best female players in the world is a prospect he is relishing as his golfing career flourishes in a different kind of way.

“This job has got me back in the game,” he said. “We are a team, we get on well and I am really getting a kick out of this. I get the excitement and the buzz of competition without the real stress of hitting the shot.

“I got the chance to work with Lexi and I’ve taken the opportunity. We’ve done pretty well together. Long may it continue.”