Given that he was eight shots off the lead heading into the final day of The Open Championship, Robert MacIntyre was facing the kind of sizeable reeling in job that Captain Ahab embarked on when pursuing Moby Dick.

You could say the Oban left hander had a whale of a time. MacIntyre revelled in the thrill of the chase on the biggest stage and an eventful three-under 67 for a seven-aggregate left him in a share of eighth. The lone Scot in the field finished as the leading Brit. It was another terrific effort from this very special talent.

After marking his major debut by finishing tied sixth in The Open at Royal Portrush in 2019, MacIntyre, who has made the cut in all seven majors he has contested since then, continues to grow in stature in the showpiece occasions. A Scottish male golfer has not won a major crown since Paul Lawrie conquered at Carnoustie in 1999 and hoisted the Claret Jug.

MacIntyre, though, continues to give the country that gave the game, and The Open, to the world hope of that gap being bridged. “I want to win one of these,” declared the 24-year-old with great purpose.

“I don’t turn up to not compete, we’re all trying to win. I feel I’ve got the game to win an Open. I’m yet to show it, but I’m young and I’ve got plenty of time. There’s a lot I can learn, there’s a lot of golf courses I’m going to enjoy when I get to them again and I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”

MacIntyre had made the halfway cut on the qualifying limit with a birdie on the final hole on Friday but he covered his closing 36-holes in eight-under to make a giant leap that should have been accompanied by a crackling Neil Armstrong commentary.

When he trundled in a couple of putts from 15-feet for birdies at the 12th and 13th to reach the eight-under mark and get to within three of the lead yesterday, the Scottish golf writers were hyperventilating into their brown paper pokes.

The par-5 14th hole has statistically been the easiest hole of the week and the prospect of another birdie, or even an eagle, raised the heart rate. Unfortunately for MacIntyre, his charge hit the buffers as he sent his drive out of bounds. He made a good recovery to salvage a bogey six but the damage had been done.

“I wasn’t committed to the shot and I got punished for it,” he said of that costly clatter. “I was still in there at that point and you never know what the leaders are going to do. I was just thinking ‘keep going forward’. When I hit the first tee shot (on 14) I was really annoyed but my caddie Mike did a great job in trying to minimise the mistake. As much as it stalled the momentum at least I felt it stopped me from almost exploding. It would have been a disaster to make double bogey there.

“I never give up, no matter how many I'm behind. You just never know what's going to happen in golf. Even today, once I managed to escape with a bogey on 14, Mike said, ‘you could birdie all four of the holes coming in’. I hung in there and got rewarded.”

MacIntyre, who has given his Ryder Cup hopes a timely tonic, conceded that his performance yesterday was his “worst tee to green” of the championship but he still managed to get the best out of his round with a typically gritty approach. “I was fighting for everything,” he added of that defiant resolve.

“I felt I wasn’t in control of what I was doing as much tee to green, but I was managing to miss in the right spots and I got some lucky breaks in the rough. You need that to keep the score going. My face may not show show it yet but once I reflect on this I’ll be absolutely delighted with the result.” 

MacIntyre would have plenty of time to mull over his Open endeavours. His top-10 finish gave him a place in the field for this week’s 3M Open on the PGA Tour and he was heading across the Atlantic on a charter flight. “I just roll with it,” he said of this here, there and everywhere lifestyle.

We are all enjoying the ride.