Take an amble up the final hole of the Renaissance club and you’ll stub your toe on a plaque honouring Rory McIlroy’s imperious, 2-iron approach which led to him pinching last year’s Genesis Scottish Open title from oor ain Robert MacIntyre.

Prior to McIlroy clattering that cracker from just over 200 yards, MacIntyre had assumed command with a gob-smacking approach of his own to the last in a closing 64.

Forget a plaque, a MacIntyre victory would’ve led to the commissioning of a commemorative bronze bust on the 18th green.

“I don't think I'll ever forgive him if I don't win a Scottish Open,” chuckled MacIntyre, who lost out to McIlroy by a single shot after a thrilling, rip-roaring finale in East Lothian.

“It was an incredible shot. That was the winning shot, really. But it was a bit heartbreaking.”

A lot has happened to MacIntyre since that agonising near miss on home turf a year ago. He’s made a winning debut in the Ryder Cup, earned his playing rights for the PGA Tour, re-located to the USA and claimed a breakthrough victory on the toughest circuit in the world at the Canadian Open.

Earlier this week, he got to savour another new, eye-opening experience as he hobnobbed with the great and the good in the Royal box at Wimbledon. It’s not a bad old life, eh?

“When I first got the invitation, I was going to say ‘no’ because it was this (Scottish Open) week but then I thought it was potentially a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said MacIntyre, who was pictured supping a cup of tea with the kind of posh pinkie that would’ve earned a nod of approval from His Royal Highness himself. Providing MacIntyre didn’t then slooter it down his tie, of course.

“I had front row seats,” he added. “It was so fast and seeing the athleticism in tennis made me realise that I’d picked the right sport.”

All joking aside, MacIntyre is looking to serve up something of an ace himself this week. For the home contingent, the Scottish Open continues to stir the senses and rouse the spirits.

MacIntyre, who is out in the marquee group with McIlroy and Norway’s Viktor Hovland for the opening two rounds, is coming into the week in a tranquil, contented frame of mind despite the hype and the heightened expectation.

“This is probably the most calm I've been,” said MacIntyre, who admitted he was a bundle of nerves when he first got paired with McIlroy as a rookie in the Scottish Open back in 2019.

“It's not been as frantic. Things have been under control. Yes, my game has been up-and-down but it's been up-and-down my whole golfing life. This is the one (title) that as a Scot, I really want.

“Last year, I came really close but there may not be another opportunity like that in my career playing golf. I've just got to try and play it as another event and give it my absolute best, which I will do.”

Whatever happens this week, a sense of perspective will remain a valuable club in the bag. It’s only a game, after all.

During yesterday’s Pro-Am, for instance, he met Scott Stewart, the Campbelltown man who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last year.

“It’s heartbreaking when you actually see it up close,” said MacIntyre, who carries the Doddie Weir Foundation livery on his golf bag to aid the MND cause. “He's speaking to you as a normal guy, and he's going through one of the worst things I could ever imagine.”

With two massive events on home soil over the next fortnight – the small matter of an Open at Royal Troon is hurtling towards us – MacIntyre couldn’t be happier to be back on Scottish terrain.

His struggles to adapt to the US way of life have been well-documented this season but having found his feet, and earned an exemption with that thrilling victory in Canada, the 27-year-old revealed that he will be adopting a new approach to his golfing travels.

“My rent is up on my Florida house at the end of August, and I don't think I'll be getting it renewed to be honest,” he said of his temporary base in the USA.

“I’m still going to play over there, I’m just not going to pay a lot of money for a rental that I’m not staying in. I’ll maybe take a house for maybe a month or two when I’m there. But there’s nothing like home. This is where I want to be.”