Bob MacIntyre has learned it is good to talk as he puts the final touches to his preparations for the US Open.
The Oban golfer is at Torrey Pines in San Diego for his sixth major test of his career and he has not been shy in seeking counsel to help with his preparations.
He said: “I’m not scared to pick the brains of the more experienced guys now. I’m not afraid to do that now. I’d only approach the guys that I’d get along with and had spent a bit of time with.
“I try to pick the brains to help me and that’s been huge, whether it’s technique with some short game shots or just where I can and can’t hit it, like at The Masters.”
There is a heightened sense of caution among the players this week following Jon Rahm’s shock withdrawal from The Memorial earlier this month after testing positive for Covid.
The Spaniard was six shots clear as he finished his third round before learning he would have to pull out of the tournament.
His early exit from the event was a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls which still exist but MacIntyre, who missed the Porsche European Open in Hamburg as a result of protocols, says testing remains rigorous and regular.
He said: “It changes everyday, week to week. We had it in Denmark. We were meant to go on to Germany but the date was changed so I ended up coming home.
“I get tested three times in the week, or three times within eight days of getting home. I self-isolate but with the exemption form I can still go and practice. I can go about my life pretty much normally the way I live. Everyone knows I’m quiet so I can do that at home.
“On day five now you can test and release. It doesn’t matter whether I’m just coming back from an event or I’ve been home a while, I’m always wary of testing positive.
“If I put myself in an environment that I feel is unsafe and I can catch Covid then you won’t see me there. I’m doing everything as safely as I can and getting on with my life.”
Raised profile no issue
MacIntyre prefers the quiet life away from the course but his success on it, including a maiden European Tour win in Cyprus, means he is quickly becoming a familiar face.
He laughs at the idea of being a celebrity but he recognises his sporting fame dictates he needs to be cautious.
He said: “It has changed, but not massively. When I’m at home, I’m quiet. I never tend to go out to the pub with my pals. I think that’s half the reason I’ve got to where I am.
“It’s just little things that I don’t feel comfortable doing any more because there is going to be too much attention on me.
“I’m a big family person and, when I’m at home, I’m seeing my niece and seeing the boys, seeing my sisters.
“It’s just little things that I can and can’t do now that has changed. People might saying something or there is too much attention on you, so, if I’m going to have a few beers with my pals, I will have it in my flat. It’s as simple as that.
“I’m a quiet person and I don’t want hassle. There is always going to be someone, no matter where you are, who is going to try and nip at you if they’ve had too many beers.
“I don’t even put myself into that environment. There’s no need for me to do that. I would rather spend three hours in my flat with a couple of my pals having a few beers, just the same way we’d do it in a pub.”