Forget a caddie and a strokesaver. Robert MacIntyre could’ve done with a sherpa and an Ordnance Survey Map on the second day of the Betfred British Masters here at Hillside.

While his compatriot Richie Ramsay finished with a flourish just as the clubhouse clock inched towards 8pm to lurk just a shot off the lead, MacIntyre’s battling, bamboozling three-under 69 was an intrepid exercise in golfing exploration which just about discovered nooks within nooks and crannies in the crannies.

“Oh the stress,” gasped the Oban left-hander with a wry smile as he ambled into the recorder’s hut to sign for one of his more eventful cards of the season.

In this game, of course, it doesn’t matter how you get that little dimpled ba’ in the hole as long as you get the bloomin’ thing in.

By the end of a delayed second round, which lost over an hour of play due to the threat of lightning in the area, MacIntyre’s seven-under tally left him handily placed in the upper reaches of the leaderboard behind the halfway frontrunner, Matt Wallace, who leads on 12-under.

Ramsay was in an even better position as the Scots made a good fist of it in the second round with seven of the 10 representatives progressing to the weekend. The Aberdonian’s brace of birdies at 17 and 18 in a 67 bolstered his push for a fourth European Tour title.

As for MacIntyre? Well, it was just one of those days. “My good golf was great and my bad golf was horrific,” he said of a performance that looked like he was getting lines and yardages from Jekyll & Hyde. “On the front nine, I couldn’t hit the ball straight with the driver.”

The here, there and everywhere nature of some of his shots led to a hotchpotch of an opening nine holes. Having started on the 10th tee, MacIntyre played his outward half in level-par but within that he managed to shoe-horn in five birdies, a bogey, two double-bogeys and just one solitary par.

The sound of the klaxon to signal a suspension of play when MacIntyre was on the first tee was something of a welcome intervention. “I was struggling and I felt my head was going a bit at that point,” admitted the former Scottish Amateur champion and Walker Cup player.

When play resumed after a torrential downpour, MacIntyre dispensed with the driver, unleashed a variety of irons off the tees and reeled off three birdies and six pars in an inward half that was in stark contrast to the higgledy-piggledy nature of his opening nine holes.

“I can take a bit more pride in the way I made that score,” added the Scot. “It doesn’t matter how you do it. All that matters is how many you take in the end.”

Having earned promotion to the main circuit from last year’s Challenge Tour, MacIntyre has made a sturdy start to life at the top table and an early exit from the Trophee Hassan II on his last outing a couple of weeks was just his second missed cut in 12 events.

“I didn’t enjoy Morocco, I wasn’t in the right frame of mind and I didn’t want to be there,” said MacIntyre. “I went home and the family and myself talked about it and got it sorted and now I’m in a good place mindset wise. In Morocco, I was getting down on myself. Today I put the bad shots out of my head and just dug deep.”

The close-knit nature of the MacIntyre family keeps him on the straight and narrow even if some of his shots where going into various parts of the parish yesterday.

With his mum and two foster brothers here – his dad was set to make the trip down too for the weekend’s action – MacIntyre is relishing the chance to compete much closer to home after weeks of golfing globetrotting.

“It’s brilliant to have them here,” he said. “I got back to the house the other night and my mum had the roast dinner on. She forgot about the Yorkshire puddings though. She didn’t burn them, she just didn’t put them on the plate.”

Whatever Ramsay was having for his supper would have tasted pretty nice after his late push concluded with a birdie putt of 25 feet on the last which dragged him into a four-way tie for second.

“That was a lovely bonus,” said Ramsay, who has adopted a more back-to-basics approach with his new caddie Guy Tilston. “I had a tendency to get over-complicated about what I was going to hit and how I hit it.

“Guy’s been great for that, he’s picked up my yardages very quickly and he’s always on at me to keep

it simple.

“It’s caveman golf, like Dustin Johnson. He just picks a target and says ‘we’ll hit it on the line of

that tree’.”

A missed cut in China last week at least had some benefits for Liam Johnston as he got back to his native Dumfries earlier than planned and managed some links preparation at Southerness.

A four-under 68, illuminated by an eagle on the 11th lifted the tour rookie onto a five-under aggregate and up into the fringes of the

leading 20.

“That round at Southerness got me tuned in to links golf while it also helped me get over a bit of jetlag,” said Johnston of a bracing outing.