Bob MacIntyre is another year older and more importantly wiser as he prepares to make his second US Open appearance next week.
The 24-year-old will compete at Torrey Pines for his second bid at US Open glory after competing in the tournament for the first time at Winged Foot in September.
A joint 56th finish represented a solid debut for the man from Oban in his first appearance in golf’s most gruelling major. Bryson DeChambeau, the winner, was the only man under par, and MacIntyre is braced for more next week in San Diego.
MacIntyre said: “It should be good. Obviously another major so I’m just trying to prepare for that.
“I know it’s going to be another brutal test, with it being a US Open.
“I think I know what to expect from a US Open now, so I just have to be in the right mental state – and basically just enjoy it. That’s why we play the game.
Driving the ball is so tough. You’ve got to keep it on the short stuff, which is always difficult no matter what course you play.”
“(Last year) was brutal. It seems to get tougher every time you watch it, but it’s good because, if you play good golf, you get rewarded.
“Driving the ball is so tough. You’ve got to keep it on the short stuff, which is always difficult no matter what course you play.
“You just have to accept that you’re not going to hit every fairway. Every good shot is not going to get rewarded. You need to be ready for that.”
As for Torrey Pines? Well, let’s just say MacIntyre knows what is coming.
He said: “I saw a video this morning of Xander Schauffele at the back of the 18th green so I’m hoping the wind doesn’t blow too hard. If it does, the viewers are in for a treat as it’ll batter us again.
“Kiawah Island (venue of the US PGA Championship last month) was long and there was more room to move it and miss it, but this one will be a real test.
“With normal conditions in a PGA Tour event, nine under is the normal winning score. If you put in a bit more rough you’re dropping that score down to near level par.”
Try to make it a normal week
Torrey Pines will be MacIntyre’s sixth major. Having made the cut in all five previous efforts thus far, he is far from overawed by the prospect of the latest assignment.
Earning the chance to take part has been the goal previously, but MacIntyre is now focused on the next step of competing for one down the home stretch.
He said: “I’m fully comfortable. I don’t feel there’s any difference in wherever I play, throughout the world.
“It’s just about me going and playing golf. I don’t really care about who I’m playing against, what the other guys are doing – I’m there to play, to play the best I can.
“I’ve prepared at home and it’s just about letting things happen when I get there.
“It’s been good to have made all the cuts, but I felt I’ve not challenged in one yet, though I had good finishes in The Masters and The Open.
“I feel I have still not taken that step to challenge in one, but it’s only five majors, so we have got to take it slow.
“I try to do the same stuff week to week whether it is a major or a regular tournament. They all mean the same. Obviously there is more expectation when I’m playing regular European Tour events, but the expectation is only what I put on myself.
“I don’t worry about what people say or think I should be doing. I only get out the game what I put in. I won’t get out of the game what anyone else says or does. I feel if I put in the work we can keep doing what we’re doing at majors.
“I’m becoming one of the favourites week to week in regular events, which shows I’m performing week to week, but I have to try to lower my own expectations and just let the golf happen again. Try to shoot as low as you can and see where you end up.”
Hoping for a good tee-time at Torrey Pines
A proud Scot, though he may be thousands of miles away from his homeland next week, it is clear MacIntyre, despite having a major tournament of his own to focus on, will also be keeping a keen eye on events at Hampden and Wembley, where Scotland will be playing in Euro 2020 next week.
He said: “I’ll definitely be watching them. The first game might be about four in the morning in California – but it’s on Monday.
“I’m sure I’ll be awake by then, anyway, with the time difference. So I’m going to try.
“Obviously my main priority is to prepare for a golf tournament but if I can watch the football, then I’m sure I’ll be watching it and then I’ve got to hope for a good tee time on Friday, for the Wembley game.”