THERE’S no rest for the auld yins. “I’ve played in two Pro-Ams over the last couple of days and that’s 10 hours of golf,” gasped Euan McIntosh of the rigorous pre-tournament requirements ahead of the Legends Tour’s MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius this week. “They work us hard.”

At this shivering time of the year, when the temperature has plunged and those of us in Scotland are quaking and shoogling like Shakin’ Stevens with a bad chill, the idea of spending a week in an Indian Ocean paradise would be, well, paradise. Then again? “The forecast is rain, some lightning and winds of maybe 25mph,” added Glasgow-born McIntosh of the meteorological mess that’s set to sweep in for the over-50s season-ending showpiece.

It’s not unusual, of course. This time last year, the whole Tour Championship was abandoned after being washed out by the kind of relentless torrents that would’ve had Noah ushering various beasts onto his floating zoo in a flustered haste. “I was actually leading after 12 holes of the first round but it took us two days to play those 12 holes and then they cancelled it,” reflected the Scot. “In the end, they gave us all a fee for travelling out there. But it’s a nice place to be whatever the weather.”

McIntosh, who turned pro for the second time in his career in 2020 to carve out a sporting life on the senior circuit, has enjoyed a topsy-turvy 2022. He started the campaign in thrilling fashion with a maiden victory on the Legends Tour in Austria back in May and then finished runner-up to fellow Scot, Paul Lawrie, in the European Legends event at Trevose in Cornwall.

The 53-year-old’s senior service was bounding along quite the thing until he contracted Covid and his sprightly start to the season came shuddering to a halt. “It wiped me out,” said McIntosh, who ended his days in the unpaid game by winning the Scottish Amateur Championship at the age of 49 in 2018. “I was in bed for 10 or 11 days. I’d made travel plans to drive to events in Switzerland and Germany when I came back as I wanted to see old friends from my time working in Germany. But the journey finished me off.

“I drove back and got home for the week of the Senior Open at Gleneagles but I was shattered. It was bad planning on my part. It took me about two months to get back to feeling normal. It’s still been a great year and to win was fantastic. When you prove you can win and then go close again soon after, you’re looking forward to playing every week and you’re full of confidence. Then something out of your control, like getting Covid, happens and it knocks you for six. Since then I feel like I’ve been playing catch up.”

Talking of catching up, McIntosh has been re-united this week with his old friend, the well-kent Alan Tait, who is acting as his caddie. Back in 1986, the teenage duo met in the final of the Scottish Boys’ Championship at Dunbar. “Alan beat me 6&5 and it was a sore one to take at that age,” reflected McIntosh of that early dose of crushing golfing despair.

“Funnily enough, Alan came to watch me when I won the Scottish Amateur at 49 and I said to him that the defeat to him all those years ago actually helped me prepare for that final. You always learn from your disappointments in golf, not matter how long ago they were.”

As a golden oldie, McIntosh is still learning and striving for new golfing experiences. At sixth on the senior circuit’s order of merit, he is on course to achieve something of a long-held ambition. “The top-10 on the rankings after this week qualify for the US Senior Open,” he said. “When I was a kid watching golf on TV, it was always the US Open I wanted to play in, not The Open. I never got anywhere near it as a pro the first time out but the US Senior Open is the next best thing. I’m in a good position and mathematically it’s almost impossible to get knocked out of the top-10 even, if I play like an idiot this week. A senior major in the US will be a wonderful experience.”