Peter Baker's return to golfing prominence continued last night when the 37-year-old from Wolverhampton was named as one of Ian Woosnam's two vice-captains for next September's Ryder Cup at the K Club near Dublin.
Baker endured a wretched slump in fortunes last season which culminated in the professional losing his European Tour card for the first time in 19 years.
But Baker's form has improved in recent months, as he illustrated at Sunningdale on Monday when he qualified for next month's Open at St Andrews in Scotland.
And Baker, who played in the 1993 Ryder Cup, is now set for a return to the biggest golf stage of all after being asked to help Woosnam along with Ireland's Des Smyth.
"I am delighted," said Baker, after news of his appointment was made public by Woosnam ahead of the Smurfit European Open, which starts today at the K Club.
"It is fantastic for me and I am really looking forward to being a part of the European team again.
"It has been a quiet period for me during the last two or three years but Monday was fantastic to qualify for the Open again.
"And this news about the Ryder Cup is massive for me and my family. We have known about it for a little while and I am so excited. It has been hard not to say anything but I am relieved it is all out in the open now."
As close friends of Woosnam from their time together on the European Tour, both Baker and Smyth were heavily tipped to be part of the Welshman's backroom staff following his appointment earlier this year.
But Baker is in the team on merit because of his people skills and Ryder Cup experience rather than an old pals' act, and the amiable Midlander is determined to help Europe follow their impressive triumph at Oakland Hills in Michigan last September when Bernhard Langer's team won by 181/2 points to 91/2.
Baker added: "I've had experience of the Ryder Cup and hopefully that will help as well as knowing the players from my time on tour.
"I want to help get the most out of the players and the team. The European team have always put a strong emphasis on team work and it has served us well in the past.
"The team did fantastically well last time and we might well be favourites next year but the US will be expected to win too because their players normally have the higher world rankings."
Baker is yet to have any detailed conversations with Woosnam about the finer details of his role in the European team.
But after seeing the likes of Colin Montgomerie, Sergio Garcia, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington star for Europe in Detroit last year, Baker is reluctant to suggest making many changes.
He added: "I haven't got down to the nitty gritty with Woosie about what I will be doing but we believe we can retain the cup.
"Whatever Woosie has done, he has been a winner and I am sure this will be no exception.
"I don't see the team changing radically. We probably know 90 per cent of the players already but there is a huge pool of talent out there and I'll be amazed if someone doesn't come from nowhere to qualify for the team."
Woosnam, who beat off competition from Nick Faldo and Sandy Lyle for the captaincy, partnered Baker at The Belfry in 1993 and knows him well.
Woosnam said: "Des and Peter are good friends and are also superbly placed to provide me with the invaluable support I require.
"Peter is everybody's friend on the tour and has been since he first played in 1986. He has a great sense of humour and as we all know each European team has a togetherness, which is so important in forging team spirit."
Qualifying for Woosnam's 12-man side does not begin until September, when the top five players in the world rankings along with the leading five from the European Order of Merit will make the team - leaving Woosnam two wild cards.
American captain Tom Lehman has already virtually ruled out pairing Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson again.
Hal Sutton tried it last September but they lost twice on the opening day as the Americans suffered their biggest ever defeat.