Robert MacIntyre credits his experience of playing in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship as an amateur six years ago as the week that gave him the belief he could make the grade in professional golf.
The left-hander, who has finished runner-up three times on a superb European Tour rookie season, teed up in the event as a 17-year-old as a late replacement to partner Spaniard Eduardo de la Riva.
MacIntyre is among a strong Scottish contingent at this week’s event at St Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie looking to become the fourth winner from the home of golf since the successes of Colin Montgomerie (2005), Stephen Gallacher (2004) and Paul Lawrie (2001).
MacIntyre, sitting 14th in the Race to Dubai, said: “I got a place in 2013 through Scottish Golf at the last minute. I found out I was playing on the Monday morning.
“That was probably the week that made me realise I could do something in golf.
“I was a bit star-struck that week and I was thinking ‘Jesus, I’m playing with Richie Ramsay’.
“I still have a photo of Eduardo and myself up in my bedroom.
“I actually looked at it before I went to Wentworth for the BMW PGA Championship last week as I knew I was going back.
“It is a memory that will last forever.”
The usual plethora of celebrities have descended on the east coast of Scotland to enjoy a few days of links golf with Justin Timberlake, Bill Murray, Ronan Keating and Piers Morgan all taking part in the pro-am event.
But there will be no shortage of galleries following MacIntyre this week, although the 23-year-old is still getting accustomed to the increased attention he is receiving in light of his stellar season on the tour.
He said: “I wouldn’t say it’s celebrity status. I still live in Oban – it’s nice and hidden up there!
“I just be myself. If people like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t. That’s the way it is.
“I don’t mind a bit of Justin Timberlake. I’m a fan – but I won’t be going up for a selfie!
“Everyone is here – movie stars, the lot. You look at them and you think: ‘I’ve seen you in this film, in that film’.”
A sign of MacIntyre’s growing profile came at Wentworth last week when one of England’s most successful footballers in recent times stopped the Glencruitten member for a chat.
He said: “Paul Scholes came up to me last week. Well, actually, I let him by me.
“I was thinking: ‘Ooft, there’s Paul Scholes’ but he introduced himself and we had a nice chat.”
MacIntyre said he was flattered when European Ryder Cup captain Padraig Harrington last week talked up his chances of making next year’s team but admitted making the final 12 may be a step too far at this stage of his career.
He added: “I played with Padraig for the first time in Crans-sur-Sierre. He’s obviously captain of the Ryder Cup team, which is obviously a goal of mine – maybe not this year, but definitely in the future.
“So it was nice to hear him speaking so highly of me, but, at the same time, it’s not everything. I’ve got a job to do and he’s got a job to do.
“If I can do my job to the best of my ability, I might be there. If not, I’ll go again the next time.”