If Robert MacIntyre keeps going at this rate, he’ll have more opportunities knocking than Hughie Green.

A wonderful debut season on the European Tour ended with the Oban left-hander winning the circuit’s rookie of the year award as he became the first Scot since Marc Warren in 2006 to earn that cherished prize.

MacIntyre, who finished 14th in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship yesterday and was 11th on the overall Race to Dubai rankings, has enjoyed a startling rise up the golfing order.

This time last year he was 300th on the world rankings. Now the 23-year-old is knocking on the door of the world’s top 50 and all the delicious odds and sods that can come with such a lofty perch.

HeraldScotland:

“I’ve been shooting at the top 50 in the world for the last four or five weeks,” he said. “We’ve fallen just short but the season’s opened up doors for me, it’s opened up WGC events.

“Next year, if I continue to do what I’m doing on the golf course, then in my own head, it’s a matter of time.

“If we can keep improving then Ryder Cups and top 50 in the world are all achievable.”

READ MORE: Jon Rahm enjoys double desert delight in Dubai

MacIntyre, with three runners-up finishes on the European Tour as well as a share of sixth in The Open during a memorable 2019, had been embroiled in a two-horse race for the rookie prize with American, Kurt Kitayama.

“I’ve enjoyed the battle,” added the former Scottish Amateur champion, who joins a rookie of the year roll of honour that includes celebrated compatriots like Bernard Gallacher, Sam Torrance, Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie.

“The last few weeks have been hard because I’ve been looking over my shoulder until last week when I got overtaken.

“But I could only control what I can control and that was putting some good golf shots on display and I finally managed to put in two good rounds this week to seal it off.

“”This (rookie of the year) is what we set out to do. Today we’ve finally achieved it and now I’m absolutely over the moon.

“This year is probably the best I’ve ever played and I’m going to enjoy it.”