DON'T mention LIV Golf to Robert MacIntyre. For a start, he’s probably scunnered with the whole flippin’ palaver anyway, just like you reading this page and sighing, ‘is that yet another mention of LIV Golf?’ 

And secondly, he’s got more important things on his mind when he’s not trying to win golf tournaments.

“I'm too busy sitting on my couch watching TV or playing shinty,” he said with a smile when asked about the you-know-what that is the talk of the golfing steamie. “I'm not going to address it. On weeks off I don't watch golf.”

Playing a sturdy straight bat that would get a ripple of applause during the early innings of a county cricket match, MacIntyre refused to be drawn into any gung-ho offensives on the whole LIV Golf situation.

In some ways, it was a relief. We could all just crack on and talk about the forthcoming Genesis Scottish Open here at The Renaissance instead of working ourselves into yet another fankle about player rebellions and the kind of messy, complex legal challenges that have left the golf writers displaying the gloomy countenance of Rumpole of the Bailey.

“These are the biggest weeks of my career, with the Scottish Open and its best field ever, and then the Open Championship at the Home of Golf,” he said of this two-week bonanza in the cradle of the game. “That’s all I'm here to talk about. These two weeks are massive for my game and my career. I have a chance the next few weeks to do something special and I'm not worrying about what else is going on.”

It's been a topsy-turvy spell for MacIntyre in 2022 and the Oban left-hander has certainly not been firing on all cylinders. From 60th on the world rankings at the start of the new campaign, the 25-year-old has dropped to 102nd. 

A finishing flourish at the Irish Open last weekend, where he managed a share of 13th, provided a timely tonic after back-to-back missed cuts on the DP World Tour in Germany. “I’m seeing signs,” he said of the reasons to be optimistic in this game of fine margins and fickle fortunes.

“The last wee while I've been hard on myself, the results haven't gone my way and I haven't played at a level I know I can play at. I think I've been getting on top of myself too easily; one bad shot and it's a disaster.

 “Munich (for the BMW International) was an eye-opener and I can't let these things happen. After 30 holes, I was up the leaderboard and after 36 I was on the way home after missing the cut.”

While all and sundry are talking about those who are jumping on to the LIV Golf gravy train, MacIntyre is hoping he can take the express route to the PGA Tour. Not on ScotRail, of course. You can’t get anywhere on that. But, as part of a strengthening of the strategic alliance between the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour, the leading 10 players on the old European circuit’s rankings at the end of the year – who don’t already have a PGA Tour exemption – will earn a card for the lucrative US-based tour.

If such a deal was in place last year, MacIntyre, who finished ninth on the Race to Dubai, would’ve been sorted. He’s currently 70th on the order of merit but there’s plenty to play for.

At a time when vast, gold-covered carrots are being dangled by the Saudis in an attempt to lure players away from the established tours, MacIntyre remains focussed on pursuing his own path to a golfing land of milk and honey in America.

“To me, everybody strives to play against the best players in the world and right now the best players in the world play the PGA Tour,” he said. “With the alliance, it gives us an opportunity to get there. It's a great opportunity for myself, especially, a 25-year-old with a pathway to the strongest fields in golf.

“Obviously you never forget where you came from and you never forget where you started playing championship golf but if I can compete against the best players in the world then I have to take that chance.”

As he pursues the American dream, a strong showing on home soil over the next couple of weeks could see MacIntyre take some sizeable steps on that journey.