AMONG the myriad musings about golf, Arnold Palmer’s reflection that this fickle old game is “at the same time rewarding and maddening” continues to strike a chord. Whether you are competing for millions in the upper echelons of the professional scene or thrashing away in your home club’s Husband & Wife Salver, those golfing gods cast a capricious, indiscriminate eye across the spectrum.

Ryan Lumsden certainly knows a thing or two about fluctuating fortunes. Having progressed through a sectional qualifier for this week’s US Open – he was one of four Scots to make it into the second men’s Major of the season – the Chicago-based amateur has certainly reaped those aforementioned rewards Palmer was alluding to. The maddening aspect came in last year’s Scottish Amateur Championship at Prestwick as his emotions were sent birling like a stray sock in a spin dryer.

Earning a place in the quarter-finals by making a hole-in-one at the second extra-hole against Craig Ross was a giddy high. Losing the final to Sam Locke by a 9&8 margin, after being 10 down after 18 holes, was a sore one to take. As far as Lumsden is concerned, though, it is all just par for the course.

“It happens in golf,” reflected Lumsden, who will join his compatriots Russell Knox, Richie Ramsay and Calum Hill in the US showpiece at Shinnecock Hills. “That’s the way our sport is. I’d never had a hole-in-one and to see the ball go in was crazy. That was one of the highlights I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was such a rare feeling. In the final though, I just didn’t do anything right. But you get these days in golf. The real danger is assigning too much emphasis on a really great day or a really bad day. There’s no point dwelling.”

Lumsden has had little time to dwell on his success in getting through the qualifying shoot-out in Ohio.

“I got back at 3am the next morning and was sitting a final exam at University that day,” said the Anglo-Scot who is on a golf scholarship at the highly regarded Northwestern University in Chicago. “The US Open is finals week at the university but I’m getting them done early. I also have to move out of the dorm I’m in so I have to figure out where to put my stuff. It’s certainly keeping me busy.”

Tiger Woods doesn’t have to worry about that. Perhaps Lumsden could shove his odds and ends in Wood’s $20 million super-yacht which the former world No 1 has moored up near Shinnecock Hills?

Rubbing shoulders with the great and the good will be quite the experience for Lumsden. He has been up close and personal with them before but this week’s affair will be slightly different to his last experience of golfing star-spotting.

“In 2015 my high school had won a national championship and we got passes to go on to the driving range during The Open at St Andrews,” recalled Lumsden, 22. “I got to stand about 15 feet behind Tiger Woods hitting balls. It was amazing. It’s going to be strange to think that in a few days I’ll actually be hitting balls on the same range as these guys.”

Lumsden thought he had blown his chances of a US Open spot when he racked up a damaging double bogey on the 14th hole of his second round but a brave birdie on the last hole, where he trundled in a knee-knocking six-footer, saw him squeeze through on the limit alongside former Masters champion, Adam Scott.

“I kind of knew I needed to do something on the last and I willed that ball into the hole,” said Lumsden, who is hoping to pick the brains of former Northwestern students Luke Donald and Matt Fitzpatrick in the build-up to the US Open. “It was less crazy than that hole-in-one but the magnitude of what I’d achieved in getting to a Major will be up there with my best feeling in golf. I have nothing to lose now and I’ll try to not let the scale of the event get to me. It’s a nice reward for the work I’ve put in.”

Let’s hope it’s not too maddening either …