|Location: Augusta National Golf Club Dated: April 8-11|
|Blanket: Live radio commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sports Extra and BBC Sounds. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website from first practice to last putt over the four days. Daily highlights on BBC Two. Click for more details on coverage|
“It’s a childish image you see on TV all the time. It’s the entrance to golfing heaven. The whole place is absolute perfection. If you could think of the perfect golf course, this is the entrance to golfing heaven. ‘is Augusta. That’s all I dreamed of. “
The descent from Magnolia Lane – the iconic entrance to Augusta National – leaves Robert MacIntyre agog.
And between trying to learn every nook and cranny of the pristine but dangerous greens and fairways, he stocked up on souvenirs at the gift shop.
Part of what the 24-year-old Scot is allure about is enjoying every second of the experience on his Masters debut.
But when serious business begins Thursday, as the southpaw sends his first tee shot into the Georgia skies, the wide-eyed wonder won’t cloud his determination to compete.
“I’m not pinching myself, because I’ve worked hard to get to where I am. I haven’t just been lucky,” MacIntyre says.
“If you’re having a good week, you can be there knocking on the door, so it becomes air combat on Sunday. That’s where I want to be, that’s the table I want to be at.
“If I wasn’t here to win I would be sitting at home in Oban. Every golfer, kid, pro, dreams of being here. I’m here now and it’s about going out there and to play.”
MacIntyre arrived in Augusta with new confidence after his performance at WGC Matchplay a fortnight ago, where he reached the final 16 edging out a group including world number one Dustin Johnson.
Johnson is the defending Masters champion, but MacIntyre doesn’t expect anyone to come close to the US record of 20 under par starting in November on the “brick” greens this time around.
And as the Scotsman hatches a game plan that involves tempering his natural attacking instincts, he tapped into the expertise of 2018 Masters winner Patrick Reed during practice.
“The Matchplay was huge,” says MacIntyre. “I played and held on. It shocked me.
“Reed has been great with me. We’ve got along well since we played together in Turkey in my first season on the European Tour.
“All I need to ask him, he gives me advice. And around this place, he has a pretty good track record, so he knows where and where not to go. He told us some awesome little secrets and we’ll be using them this week. “
MacIntyre is one of three Scots on the pitch, joining 1988 champion Sandy Lyle and Martin Laird.
The dream comes true when he kicks off alongside fellow left-handed 2003 Canadian Champion Mike Weir and Taiwanese CT Pan at 4:42 pm BST on Thursday.
“Unless you hit a corner in a green, you can’t really tackle a pin because the ball isn’t going to stop,” he says.
“It’s just playing smart. It’s a course that I respect 100%. I can’t attack all the way. I’ll pack my bags early and get out of here if I do that.”
After playing Scottish ceilidh music over the car stereo as it descended on Magnolia Lane on Monday, MacIntyre has a party in mind if he makes golf history by becoming the first winner since Fuzzy Zoeller 42 years ago .
“I don’t know if it will be ceilidh music or just the Fleur d’Ecosse, with my head on the sunroof and a beer in hand. It would be the ultimate, wouldn’t it?”