Winning Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley made a suprise appearance at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club on the eve of the Walker Cup, which starts on Saturday.
McGinley came to the course for the latest in a series of meetings with Nigel Edwards, captain of Great Britain and Ireland, who are trying to wrest the Walker Cup from the grasp of the Americans at the world-renowned Links Gate venue.
McGinley steered the European professionals to a famous Ryder Cup victory over the Americans at Gleneagles last year.
And McGinley’s invaluable input and insight was much appreciated by Edwards and his team.
Cormac Sharvin, one of a record-breaking five Irishmen in the home side, said: “Paul McGinley has been involved in 13 team competitions as a player or captain and he has won 12 of them.
“Obviously, he knows the winning formula.”
Edwards said: “I had an informal chat with Paul some time ago, and he said anything he could do to help he would be more than delighted to do it.”
The countdown to the Walker Cup, staged for the first time at the course, intensified with Friday’s tea-time opening ceremony and the announcement by both team skippers of their Saturday line-ups for the historic biennial competition.
The Walker Cup concludes on Sunday.