What does a golfer do when they have just missed out on the biggest win of their career and they have to get the head screwed back on for an Open Championship? They go for a bit of retail therapy. Well, not quite.

“I was in the shops with my mum getting stuff for the week and it was carnage in there,” chuckled Robert MacIntyre of a frenzied birl around the aisles that conjured up the chaotic grabbings and snatchings you would get on an episode of Supermarket Sweep. “I’ll stick to the golf course.”

Having raided the shelves for the messages that will stock the cupboards of his rented pad for the week here at Hoylake, MacIntyre is getting back to business on the links as he looks to build on the form that took him to the cusp of a memorable victory in the Genesis Scottish Open last Sunday.

Only Rory McIlroy’s brilliance on the last two holes at The Renaissance denied the gallant MacIntyre as he pipped the Scot by a stroke. MacIntyre’s second-place finish, however, gave his campaign a timely shot in the arm.

As well as a mighty confidence boost ahead of the final men’s Major of the season on the Wirral peninsula, the 26-year-old’s rousing 64 at The Renaissance propelled him into the automatic qualifying places for September’s Ryder Cup. It is all to play for now.

The Oban lefty’s brave, bold endeavours on Scottish soil certainly caught a few admiring glances. One impressed onlooker was the reigning Masters champion and world No.3, Jon Rahm. And how do we know that? Well, he was asked to give his views on MacIntyre’s Ryder Cup credentials by an unashamedly parochial Scottish press corps.

“If somebody who can do that, shoot six-under in those weather conditions, is not a candidate, I don’t know who else can be,” said Rahm. “He should definitely be a candidate. I like his chances.”

Informed of that robust show of support from the Spanish Ryder Cup star, MacIntyre broke into a beam that could have spanned the Mersey. “That makes me smile,” he said. “Getting words from top, top players, I couldn’t think of a bigger confidence boost. The Ryder Cup is a dream of mine. But I still have work to do to make that team. If I’m not an automatic [qualifier] then it’s out of my hands but I just need to look after myself, go out there and win events and it will take care of itself.”

A big show in golf’s most cherished Major would certainly aide the cause. It may be a new golfing week but, after the emotional roller-coaster of Sunday’s epic affair, MacIntyre can’t help but reflect on what might have been.

“It is going to take me a while to get over that one,” he said of narrowly missing out on becoming the first Scot since Colin Montgomerie in 1999 to win the Scottish Open. “But I did everything right, everything that I could. That’s the attitude I’ve taken away from it. I gave it everything. I didn’t sleep too well on Sunday night with everything that was going on. I woke up thinking, ‘how did I not win it?’. But that’s golf.”

It sure is. In this game, though, another opportunity comes along quickly as the touring circus roars on. MacIntyre finished tied sixth in his first Open appearance at Portrush in 2019 and was tied eighth at Sandwich two years ago.

“It is good, he said of this impressive body of work in The Open. “There’s a lot of expectation on me from various places but I’m just going to do what I do. I was so relaxed last week. I wasn’t nervous, I just played golf and that’s because I’m enjoying playing it again.”

This happy-go-lucky approach has been aided by the return to his side of his former caddie, Greg Milne.

“I knew my game was in good shape, I just couldn’t piece it all together at once,” added MacIntyre of the quest to get all the golfing mechanisms working in unison. “There were just little bits missing here and there. Greg has been a big help, from the point of view of attitude. We are just having a laugh. We are two boys playing in some of the biggest events in golf and just taking the mickey out of each other.”

There is a seven-strong Scottish contingent competing this week, the highest representation for a good number of years.

Ayrshireman Michael Stewart, who came through the final qualifying shoot-out two weeks ago, makes his Open debut at 33, 17 years after he first came to Hoylake as a starry-eyed young ’un in 2006. Stewart played in the Junior Open at nearby Heswall before joining the crowds to watch a Tiger Woods masterclass.

“We were on the green when Tiger holed that iron shot,” he recalled of Tiger’s 4-iron on the 14th that dropped in the cup. “It was a tremendous experience. You are watching your golfing hero in the peak of his powers and he has just holed out a shot from the fairway. It was typical Tiger, pulling out magic moments.”

Stewart, MacIntyre and the rest of the Scots will be hoping for a few magic moments of their own this week.