Peter Baker, who forced his way into the Open Championship the hard way - against the top pros in the Sunningdale qualifier - played a practice round at St Andrews yesterday in a Midland three-ball with Robert Rock and Ian Woosnam.
Woosnam, of course, is an ex-Midlander but this little party had a distinct flavour and you would have expected a small wager among the participants.
"Not so," said Baker. "We didn't have a penny on it. We just concentrated on our practice and were very well behaved. It was very enjoyable.
"The course is hard and fast and this is going to be a very interesting championship."
Baker, like Rock, is a non-card carrying member of the field. His top golf is now played by invitation only and it says much for his standing in the game that he has had 11 invites so far this season.
He had progressed through Sunningdale, though, by taking a pre-event rest. And practising.
"And it's all gone very well, I'm playing nicely," he said. "When you're happy with your game, as I am, you've got to look forward to a tournament like this."
But he's not going around the Old Course today. "I've just had five hours out there and that's long enough."
He's going to rest and hit a few balls on the range. And what are his expectations?
"No 1," he said, "is to play well and to enjoy the occasion. Just playing here is a wonderful thing." Ambition No 2 is to make the cut and then to earn an exemption for Hoylake next year."
Robert Steele's quest for Open glory on his debut started on Monday with a search for accommodation and his sleeping arrangements last night remained far from ideal.
"I'm kipping on the floor at Jenk's [Gareth Jenkins - fellow Kenilworth member who is in St Andrews with the Golf Foundation]," said Steele.
He will also have Jenkins on his bag after the foundation released him "for the week or as long as I'm in it."
Steele, whose head could so easily be turned by the galaxy of stars around him at St Andrews practised in the " incredible" company of Luke Donald, Atherstone's Steve Webster and Simon Dyson.
And the 22-year-old has had time for a spot of star-gazing.
"I went into the player's lounge this morning, for a bit of breakfast . . . there is Tiger Woods and Mark O'Meara. They touched their caps as we went past each other! It's surreal.
"I got a bit nervous today playing with those guys. I've got my name down at 1.30pm for tomorrow - on my own - if I decide to go out and play a few holes. I'm absolutely shattered. I'm going to bed now on the air mattress."