We’re a fickle old bunch us Scots. One minute, we’re hanging up the bunting at a bit of sporting success. The next, we’re demanding those folk who achieved that bit of success are strung up if things go awry. Robert MacIntyre is well aware of the peaks and troughs that are par for the course in the fluctuating fortunes of professional sport.

The 26-year-old goes into this week’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with a considerable spring in his step after his recent victory in the Italian Open. The burst of optimism, meanwhile, generated by Scotland’s footballers over the last few days – you must have heard about it? - has also given this avid follower an extra lift in morale. MacIntyre’s success, and the decent progress of the country’s fitba players in the Nations League, helped prove a point too.

“I'm a diehard Scot, the country means everything to me,” said MacIntyre with a show of patriotic fervour that should’ve been accompanied by a skirl of the pipes. “In sport, we get knocked down, we get battered, we get told we are not good enough. It's a nationwide thing, and it's always about how we are not doing well enough.

“But for a small country, I think we punch hard. That's all we can do. I've grown up playing all the sports. And to see Scotland doing so well in so many different sports now, it's brilliant and it's only going to get better.”

There were some critics who were doubting whether MacIntyre would get that second tour victory. The man himself had his own doubts too. But his play-off win over US Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick in Rome the other week silenced the scoffers.

Back on home turf for this autumnal birl around the Old Course, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, MacIntyre, who followed up his thrilling Italian job with a share of eighth in the French Open last weekend, is in fine fettle.

“This is a different event and it's a nice, relaxed feel,” he said of the lucrative, celebrity-infused Pro-Am. “It's my sixth event in a row but hopefully I can go out, cruise round a little bit and enjoy myself.”

Mother Nature might have something to say about that, mind you. “Friday doesn't look great,” he said of a forecast that looks as gloomy as Sawney Bean’s cave. “But we'll just go out there and give it our best. It's more a mental test when that (weather) comes in. It's a damage limitation job and I don't mind it. At the end of the day, it's another challenge.”

A buoyant MacIntyre is clearly up for this particular challenge. “My game is in good shape,” he added. “I've been looking at stats for the last five weeks and obviously I've seen a trend. It was looking good. But getting results is a different story and to finally see some good performances is always a bonus.”

As well as being in good shape on the golf course, MacIntyre is also in good shape generally. “I built a gym and everything at home,” he said. “It's a habit you've got to change and I can't change it on the road without changing it at home. So I started doing gym work at home and then just try to do it twice a week on the road.”

He still allows himself those soothing indulgences, though. “I had two teacakes last night and a little custard doughnut on the course today,” he said with a guilty grin “So I'm not a lean, mean fighting machine.”