ROBERT MacINTYRE has packed so much into the last two years, he may get hit with a charge for excess baggage.

When the Oban left-hander first played in the Betfred British Masters at Hillside in 2019, he was a rookie finding his feet on the frontline of the European Tour and was ranked 265th in the world.

In the same event this week at The Belfry, MacIntyre is the highest ranked player in the field as the world No.45, he has a European Tour win on his cv, he has played in all four major championships and has finished sixth in The Open and 12th in The Masters. This special Scottish talent has made bigger leaps than Bob Beamon.

That British Masters two years ago provided the springboard for MacIntyre’s propulsion up the order as he announced his arrival at the top table of the European scene.

With the kind of bold, gung-ho sense of daring that would have made Evel Knievel gasp, MacIntyre, in the company of tournament host Tommy Fleetwood, finished with an eagle, birdie flourish on the closing day to secure a share of second place. It would be the first of three runners-up finishes during his rookie season and it is a performance that still resonates.

“It’s been a roller-coaster,” he said of his intoxicating golfing ride since then. “Did I expect to be here at this point? No. We had a plan in place but we picked it off earlier than expected. When I played with Tommy in that final round, it gave me belief that I could compete with the best. And he was one of the best.

“It was his home event and it was the first time I’d played in front of a big crowd. It was a great buzz. It put me in the right place and it just snowballed from there. Being the top-ranked player this week is a first for me but it shows that I’ve been doing the right things.”

Since a lucrative, star-studded six-event bounce around the USA, which included that thrilling Masters debut at Augusta, MacIntyre has been recharging the batteries back home in Oban. “There is no special treatment when I get home,” he said of a welcome return to grounded normality after all the hype and hoopla of the touring circus. “When I’m home, I just live the life of a 24-year-old guy, not someone who is trying to achieve great things in the world of golf.”

It is back to business at The Belfry before another hop over the Atlantic for next week’s US PGA Championship. MacIntyre is itching to get going again.

“I just love golf and competing,” said the former Scottish Amateur champion. “I hate standing on a range practising at home in the cold. I’d rather be out competing and fighting on a golf course.”

The British Masters has a decorated roll of honour which includes Scottish luminaries such as Bernard Gallacher, Sandy Lyle, Sam Torrance and Colin Montgomerie. Gary Orr notched the last tartan triumph in the event 21 years ago. “I’d take winning anywhere,” added MacIntyre. “I’m not picky. I came close a couple of years ago at Hillside so I have fond memories of this event. Having taken a few weeks off I’ll try to keep the expectations down as much as I can. I’ll try and keep it as low key as possible. That tends to work for me. I’ve prepared well and I’m in a good place.”

MacIntyre is in a good place too on the European Ryder Cup standings and is chapping on the door of Padraig Harrington’s team. There is plenty of golf to be played before that is done and dusted and at a Belfry venue so synonymous with the Ryder Cup, having staged the match four times, MacIntyre can make further advances on that particular target.

“The points on offer here are huge,” he said of the doubling up of qualification goodies this week. “I’m in a position where it can happen now and obviously it’s up there with the priorities now. I just have to let it happen. If I keep doing what I’m doing I believe it will happen. It’s a realistic goal to set. You can achieve anything in the game.

“Along with my team around me, we do things not to just make Ryder Cup teams but to make me play better golf. If I play better golf then I’ll be there or thereabouts come selection time.”