Let’s face it, The Open is big.

Everywhere you turn, there are big stands filled with big crowds and big money being spent in big merchandise tents. It’s big business. And now it’s time to get down to business. Robert MacIntyre is wanting it to be, well, business as usual.

As a man who likes to keep things as low-key as a scale on a bassoon, last week’s grouping with Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler for the first two rounds of the Scottish Open could not have been more all-singing, all-dancing.

Despite being out of his comfort zone, MacIntyre coped admirably in such distinguished company, however, and even though he missed the cut with a four-under tally in an incredibly low-scoring event he was happy with his game.

That’s why he has arrived here at Portrush in fine fettle as he prepares for his debut in the Open Championship.

READ MORE: Portrush ready to bare its teeth

That preparation could have included a high-profile practice round with the defending champion Francesco Molinari and former Ryder Cup talisman Ian Poulter. But what were we saying about low key again?

“I had a wee bit of a change of mind,” the 22-year-old from Oban admitted. “I was down on the sheet but then I thought I didn’t want to be in that environment. It was something I could control, I didn’t want to get overawed or anything.

“The reason I pulled out was that it was initially myself and Oliver Wilson and I’ve had a few rounds with him in practice. Then Molinari was there and then I looked in the morning and Poulter had put his name down.

“I said before I came here that I wouldn’t put my name up with big names and that was going to be two in the one group. It wasn’t for me.

“I prefer to keep things low key. It’s already nerve-wracking enough at an Open without the added pressure of being on the first tee with Molinari and Poulter when you don’t have to be. Come the weekend, if I’m in the same group as one of them, then I’ll be hopefully doing something right.”

MacIntyre, who has plenty of experience of Portrush having played the Dunluce links in the Amateur Championship and the Home Internationals in recent years, was set to get his campaign off today at 8.36am in the company of Kyle Stanley and Andrew “Beef” Johnston. Nervous? Of course.

LISTEN: Herald & Times Open podcast from Portrush

“But it will be nothing like last week,” he admitted. “I just about had to get my caddie to peg my ball up at the Scottish Open. But even though I missed the cut it was perfect preparation for this week and there were no negatives at all.

“Getting out in that group and being thrown in at the deep end with Rory and Rickie and handling it as well as I did. I thought, ‘well, there are only two men who could top that for pressure; Mickelson and Tiger’.

“I’d be pretty nervous if that happened but then it would be great wouldn’t it? Being at the Open is another dream for me. I’m dreaming of things and they are happening just now.”

MacIntyre’s fellow Scot, Connor Syme, is also savouring the chance to be back at Portrush where he reached the semi-finals of the Amateur Championship in 2014.

The old links has changed a little bit since then but Syme, who also played in the 2017 as an amateur, is taking comfort from his past experiences.

“It all kind of comes back to you and that knowledge can be an advantage,” said the young Fifer. “There are still quite a few different tees, it’s definitely longer than it was, there are new bunkers and, of course, the two new holes. But the knowledge of run-offs will help me, 100 per cent.”

Those two new holes are the seventh and eighth, while the old 17th and 18th have been replaced. “I’m a bit disappointed because the 17th and 18th were so good to me during the Amateur,” said Syme of those matchplay ties in the unpaid game’s showpiece which went the full distance.

‘Every single tie, I felt like I was one down coming up the last two and just managed to get through.”