Now a Ralston member after flying the Tulliallan flag when landing that triumph in 2008, Macaulay is making his return in Scottish Golf’s flagship men’s event at Crail after being reinstated to the amateur ranks.
“Here we go,” he told The Scotsman. “I am excited to be competing, but this is only my second tournament since being reinstated, so I literally have no expectations.
Whereas the tournament was straight knock-out from the off when Macaulay recorded his victory, it now starts with two rounds of stroke-play qualifying, with the top 64 progressing to a match-play stage.
In a further change that has been introduced this year, the final is being played over 18 holes instead of what had been the traditional 36 holes
“I have very limited time to play or practice nowadays,” added Macaulay, a member of Scotland’s historic Eisenhower Trophy-winning team in Australia in 2008.
“As much as I would love to get my name on the trophy again, that, coupled with the standard of players coming through and also the regular ‘old guys’ like Matt Clark and Euan McIntosh, is why my expectations are very low.”
McIntosh defends the title he won at the age of 49 at Blairgowrie 12 months ago, the Turnhouse man aiming to become the first player to pull off back-to-back wins since Charlie Green in 1982-83.
“I’ve got a bit of a hangover from Senior Open qualifying,” he said of missing out on making his debut in that event at Royal Lytham after losing out in a play-off last Monday.
“But hopefully when I tee up on Tuesday that will be forgotten about. We qualify over two great courses, the Balcomie and Craighead, which helps and, if I get through that anything is possible.”
Walker Cup squad members Euan Walker and Sandy Scott are not in the field, though it does include 46-year-old Blairgowrie member Stuart Graham and his two sons – 15 year-old Gregor and Conor, who is just 12.