There’s a queer old difference between Paisley and Kuala Lumpur. Then again, the stifling heat and humidity of the dancefloor at Vienna’s nightclub on a bank holiday weekend would probably rival anything the Malaysian capital could throw at you. So I’m led to believe anyway.

Getting to grips with various eye-opening climates is par for the course when you’re a touring golfer. For Alastair Forsyth, the southeast Asian country will always hold a special place in his heart.

It was in that part of the world, after all, where he claimed the first of his two wins on the old European Tour back in 2002 at the Carlsberg Malaysian Open. “If I had to write a list of countries where I thought I would win in, Malaysia would be at the very bottom of it,” said the Paisley man with a chuckle. “It must have been a million degrees. A Scot winning in that heat? Golf can be a funny game.”

It’s now 25 years since Forsyth turned professional, so what better time to catch up for a chin-wag than in this silver anniversary. In his formative stages as a pro in the late 1990s, Forsyth did what a lot of promising young Scots often fail to do: he hit the ground running. The leap from the amateur scene to the paid ranks can often be as perilous as a cut-price bungee jump but Forsyth took it all in his stride.

Winning the tour’s qualifying school final in 1999 got him a full card for his rookie year on the frontline and he swiftly earned his stripes. “In my second event at the Heineken Classic in Australia I finished third,” he reflected. “Michael Campbell won it, Thomas Bjorn was second and Ernie Els was behind me in fourth. I was right in there among the big boys. In terms of confidence, as well as finances, it was massive because it can easily go the other way. If you get off to a bad start, you can find yourself on a downward spiral very quickly.”

Forsyth was on the up. That breakthrough victory in Malaysia arrived in 2002 but he had to wait six years to nab another when he landed the Madeira Islands Open crown in 2008. A return to that north Atlantic archipelago in 2014 was memorable for all the wrong reasons, however, when his caddie, Iain McGregor, collapsed and died mid-round. “He just hit the deck, it was horrible,” said Forsyth of that harrowing tragedy.

“The experiences of Madeira couldn’t be more extreme. Winning there, then being confronted by that. I’ll never forget it.”

In this game of what-ifs, maybes and might-have-beens, there are always moments to mull over. “You always feel you could have done more,” added Forsyth, who contested eight majors and finished ninth in the 2008 US PGA Championship at brutal Oakland Hills. “In the 2003 Open, I was fourth after two rounds and fell away badly over the weekend. It was the same at Carnoustie in 2007.

A big one for me was the Volvo Masters in 2003. I was three shots ahead with a round to go and lost by a shot to Ian Poulter.

“In those days, the Volvo Masters was massive, like the Tour Championship is now. It could’ve been a career-changing win. But that’s golf. There are some players who play over 500 events on tour and never win. I won twice. I can be proud of that.”

By 2010, Forsyth was on the slippery slope and confessed to being at “rock bottom” when he had to trudge back to the qualifying school. “A decade or so earlier, I was at q-school as a fresh 20-something coming off a good year,” he said. “In 2010, the confidence was at an all-time low. Life on tour is great when you’re playing well. But when you’re struggling and sitting at an airport on a Friday night having missed another cut and another £2500 of expenses has gone up in smoke, then that’s when it’s a completely different kettle of fish.”

Since 2015, Forsyth has been kept busy by a burgeoning teaching portfolio at Mearns Castle while regular outings on the domestic Tartan Tour keeps the competitive edge sharp. “Playing is in my DNA,” he said. Last season, he landed the Scottish PGA Championship, 22 years after he first won it. There could be a few more silver linings

to come yet.