There’s not much time to draw breath when you’re hurtling up the world rankings. Robert MacIntyre’s rise into the top 50 of the global order has been so rapid, it would give most folk the bends. It’s onwards and upwards for the newly-installed world No.44.

A couple of days after missing out on the Dubai Desert Classic title, MacIntyre is back in the saddle at this week’s Saudi International.

His 50th European Tour event last weekend wasn’t a milestone marked by a win, but it was another terrific effort from the Oban left-hander as he finished third.

Playing in the final group with the eventual winner, Paul Casey, MacIntyre’s title tilt was scuppered by a shoogly spell around the turn after a short putt for par on the eighth hole burled round the cup and stayed out.

“I want to win, it’s in me,” he reflected. “So when you get a right good chance like that it’s sore when it misses you. It’s going to hurt for a wee while but when I get back on to the course on Thursday it will be put to the side.”

A year ago, MacIntyre missed the cut in Saudi Arabia and travelled home with plenty to ponder. There was plenty to do, too. “After Saudi I knew I had to put the work in again,” he said. “I was getting lazy and pretty much not bothering my backside to put it right. So I just felt I had to go away and work on it. The harder you work, the more you take out of this game, it’s as simple as that.

“If you think you can’t work and still get something from this game then you’re in the wrong sport. Now I realise I am working harder than ever.”

The proof has been in the profitable pudding. In his last seven events, he has recorded a win, two thirds and a sixth while he has been out of the leading 20 just once.

The world’s top 50, which offers the kind of golden opportunity that would make King Midas envious, is the reward for his drive, discipline and competitive gusto. Barging his way into that lofty echelon has been a mighty effort. Staying there, and feasting on its bountiful delights, will require even greater endeavour. MacIntyre, of course, is not one for resting on laurels.

“The top 50 means everything,” said the former Scottish Amateur champion, who is now on course for a Masters invitation and is very much in the Ryder Cup reckoning. “It’s a stepping stone to where I want to go and you can’t go certain places without being in the top 50. It’s a great achievement for me and my team around me.

“I know my golf can stand up. I’m only 24 and have a long career ahead of me. Where will golf will take me? Nobody knows. I don’t know myself. I don’t see why I can’t be a top-10 player but there’s a long way to go and I will just keep trusting what I’m doing and the people around me. If I do that then I can shoot for the stars.

“The Masters has been a target for the last year and a half but there are a couple of months to go before that’s locked in. If I don’t play in big events like The Masters, then realistically I’m not going to be on that Ryder Cup team. I aim high but I’m also realistic. I know what I need to be playing in and I’m giving it everything I can.”