Back in more youthful days, when my skin seemed to fit my face a bit better and I didn’t waste astonishing chunks of time doddering around looking for my bloomin’ spectacles, I was one of the press officers at The Open Championship.

When the event got underway, and the participating golfers were piling in left, right and centre, us lot were one of their first points of contact as they emerged from the recording hut and we had to politely ask if they could do a bit of TV here, some radio there and a few newspaper interviews over yonder.

It was a task not without its perils, of course. Tip-toeing gingerly up to Colin Montgomerie, for instance, as the combustible Scot glowered and growled after a three-putt on the last green and tentatively asking, “any chance of a word, Colin?” was as hazardous as prodding an unexploded mine with a twig.

As for the Japanese players and press? Well, their daily dealings with each other were always performed with quiet, whispering, diligence and deference. A media cast of thousands would encircle said player, even if he had posted a 77 and was sharing 83rd place, and embark on a prolonged investigative probing of all the coughs, wheezes and snorts of the round. 

I never did see any Japanese newspapers but assumed there would be a blow-by-blow supplement commemorating every single hole.

This was superstar worship at work. Hideki Matsuyama will be getting the full treatment back home now with mounds of coverage that will be bigger than Mount Fuji. He’s been used to it over the last decade or so but as the newly crowned Masters champion, and Japan’s first male major winner after female triumphs by Hisako Higuchi and Hinako Shibuno, the fever and frenzy will go into a different stratosphere. 

Matsuyama would be more than happy to keep it low key, of course. “It's not my favourite thing to do, to stand and answer questions,” he said last week.

Matsuyama has always been something of an international man of mystery and one who does his talking on the golf course. “He doesn’t speak English … but he doesn’t speak much Japanese either,” was one observation a few years ago. 

When Matsuyama scored his breakthrough win on the PGA Tour in 2014 at Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial Tournament, he had delivered on his eastern promise.

“I think you've just seen the start of what's going to be truly one of the world's great players," said Nicklaus back then. Sunday’s success took him into a shimmering pantheon.

It’s almost 65 years since the Japanese duo of Torakichi Nakamura and Koichi Ono beat the decorated American double act of Jimmy Demaret and Sam Snead in what was, essentially, golf’s World Cup. The likes of Jumbo Ozaki and Tommy Nakajima went on to become well-kent faces in the 1970s and 1980s while Shigeki Maruyama and Ryuji Imada both notched PGA Tour wins in the noughties.

The stetson-wearing Shingo Katayama, meanwhile, also enjoyed top-five finishes in the Masters and the US PGA Championship during that period too.  

Prior to Matsuyama’s emergence, it was ‘The Bashful Prince’, Ryo Ishikawa, who generated the kind of swooning pandemonium that used to be the reserve of the Beatles.

He became the youngest winner on a major men’s circuit at the age of 15 in 2007 when he won on the Japan Golf Tour but being a teenage prodigy tipped for superstardom is not plain sailing. As Matsuyama was beginning his own professional voyage in 2013, Ishikawa was losing his PGA Tour card that same year. The age of Hideki hysteria began but he has shouldered the burden with great composure. Sunday was the ultimate evidence of that.

As for Robert MacIntyre mania, meanwhile? Well, it continues to grow and grow. After a terrific share of 12th on his Masters debut, which ensured a return next year, they’ll be felling trees across Argyll for the churn of newsprint required for an Oban Times extravaganza.

What else can we say about this very special talent? The Masters was another step into the unknown for the upwardly mobile Scot and he took it all in his stride. Again.

What continues to impress, among many things, is his general resilience. MacIntyre has the mental resolve that doesn’t turn a drama into a potential crisis. That is a huge attribute to have in a mind-mangling pursuit bedevilled by exasperating fickle fortunes.

A bad hole here or there tends to be forgotten about and he sets about salvaging the situation with fearless purpose. In the final knockings of his closing round, MacIntyre leaked shots at 16 and 17 but his fight and ability to get as much as possible out of every round spawned a thrilling birdie on the last which secured that coveted tee-time for the 2022 Masters. It was a rich reward for his attitude and application.

We can only wonder what MacIntyre will have achieved by the time the next Masters birls in. “Everyone believes in me, I believe in them, and I think we do a good job,” he said of a valued support network that continues to allow him to be the best golfer he can be.

We’re all enjoying the ride.