The stars came out to sparkle in the Midland sunshine as fine weather encouraged low scoring on the first day of the Quinn Direct British Masters.
Liverpool fan Darren Clarke did his chances of an early tee-off time tomorrow morning - and that sharp exit for Cardiff - no good whatsoever in carding a six-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with Sweden's Peter Hanson.
By contrast, Clarke's fellow would-be Cup Final spectators, Paul McGinley and Thomas Bjorn, are looking a good bet to make that 3pm kick-off at the Millennium Stadium after each slumped to a three-over 75.
As for those with this competition on their mind, just a stroke behind Clarke and Hanson on five under were Ryder Cup hopeful Paul Casey, US Open champion Michael Campbell and former Ryder Cup man Jarmo Sandelin.
Then comes another likely Ryder Cup player Ian Poulter in a group on four under, followed by Europe's captain himself, Shropshire's Ian Woosnam.
As for the five-strong West Midland contingent, three shot sub-par rounds, of which the pick was Tom Whitehouse's performance on his home course.
Whitehouse, who is now attached to The Belfry and lives just down the road at Coleshill, heartened a big home following with a mature performance, capped when he brought the house down to sink a long putt for an eagle three at the par-five 17th.
That left him just four shots off the lead with a two-under 70 matched by fellow Midlander Paul Broadhurst.
Playing with Casey, Broadhurst made a decent enough start with a birdie at the par-five third. And, although he bogeyed the fourth, he got back into red figures straightaway with another birdie at the fifth.
He then had to watch in frustration as Casey birdied each of the back nine's two par threes at the 12th and 14th, but Broadhurst finally joined in the fun when he, Casey and their other playing partner Paul Lawrie all birdied the long 15th. And that took the Midlands' main Ryder Cup hope to two under for the day.
"You can't win a tournament on the first day," said Broadhurst, "but you can certainly lose it and, although it felt a bit of a struggle at times, I've got to feel quite pleased with that."
Peter Baker was just a stroke back after a one-under 71, thanks to a succession of missed chances that he cheerfully admitted was comparable with his beloved Wolver-hampton Wanderers.
"Actually it probably wasn't quite as bad as that," admitted Baker with a grin. "The greens are a bit bumpy, but it played as easy as it could anywhere in the country, given that conditions here are about a month behind after a tough winter and I still put away more than Wolves have scored in two months.
"But it is a bit frustrating, as I suffered the same way in Italy last week. Tee to green, l played really well there too."
Early birdies at the second and fifth holes were undone by a bogey at the sixth. And then, when he birdied the 17th to go back to two under, he missed a short one at the last.
"I must have missed half-a-dozen of that length," said Baker, looking to win back his Tour card this year.
"But I've got to be happy under par, even though I know it could have been a lot better."
Steve Webster was far from happy after a one-over 73 which contained 15 pars, successive bogey fives at the 18th and the first, and just one birdie at the par-five third.
"All those pars," he said, with a rueful grin. "Boring golf. I'd rather have had seven birdies and six bogeys.
"I need a good one tomorrow just to get back in the tournament," added Webster, who tied for fifth in this event last year.
Worcestershire's John Bickerton was another heading to the driving range after his two-over 74.
Now based in Germany, Bickerton was hoping for a happy homecoming to Midland soil, but he paid the price for a series of missed fairways by dropping shots at the first, the sixth and the eighth to go out in 39.
Successive birdies at the 14th and 15th restored his spirits, but he pulled his approach left at the last and, despite what appeared to be a neat save, he missed his four-footer for par.