One new recruit to the European Senior Tour felt almost liberated when he hit his half century and was simply relishing the prospect of being back among his ain' folk again on the "pot bellies circuit". Yes, there are plenty of players who are, shall we say, blawin' a good cheek, so perhaps the SSE Scottish Senior Open at Fairmont St Andrews was a surprising place to hear of talk about "streamlined processes".
As the golden oldies got cracking yesterday - and there were a few that were creaking too - news filtered through from European Tour headquarters that a major change to the way in which the Ryder Cup captain is chosen will come into force for the 2016 contest and beyond.
With an official statement featuring phrases like "ratified" as well as endless references to "committees", it was all as dry as a Temperance Society meeting in the Sahara but there will be one or two raising a glass to the decision that has been made. Since 1999, the process of choosing the man to lead Team Europe into the biennial battle with the Americans has been decided by a 15-strong body, but that number will be reduced to just five key figures going forward.
It will be a bit like a golfing panel of X-factor judges and will be made up of the three previous Ryder Cup skippers - for 2016 it will be Paul McGinley, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie - the chief executive of the European Tour and one representative from the Tournament Committee, which is currently chaired by Thomas Bjorn.
Cast your mind back to last year, when McGinley was finally chosen to lead the European crusade after a prolonged palaver, and you can appreciate the need for an overhaul. It all became rather shambolic, with infighting and lobbying among committee members and players in the run-up. Mercifully, they plumped for the right man in McGinley, but it was something of an unsavoury process which cast a shadow over the European Tour's Ryder Cup harmony. The new, streamlined system should be far less onerous and instantly found favour among those seniors in St Andrews with strong Ryder Cup connections.
Sam Torrance, the triumphant European skipper at The Belfry in 2002, opened his challenge for Scottish success yesterday with a two-under 70 over the course that he designed; before giving his views on the latest developments.
"I suggested to them that what should happen is a six-man committee: the last five Ryder Cup captains and the next one, then one drops off," he said. "Having the last three is brilliant, though. It wasn't great what went on this time. This should be a decision by former captains, I think."
Torrance is clearly a believer in the values of old hands. As far as his own game is concerned, the Largs veteran benefitted from the experienced words of wisdom of his old man. At 81-years-old, Bob Torrance is still as sharp as a tack on all things swing related. "He's brilliant, the old b****r," said the younger Torrance, who highlighted his card with a 6-iron into four-feet on the short 11th which spawned a birdie. "I was hitting a lot of iron shots thin but I got a great tip from him over the phone last week."
With enough of a breeze to cause plenty of mischief, his tidy card left Torrance, an 11-time winner on the Senior Tour, just two strokes behind a leading quartet comprising Miguel Angel Martin, Denis O'Sullivan, Jamie Spence and Gordon Manson. He may now play under the Austrian flag, having lived there for 30 years, but St Andrews-born Manson will always feel at home in this neck of the woods. He shared fourth in this event a year ago and flourished again yesterday with a five-birdie round. "It seems to inspire me when I come back," he admitted.
O'Sullivan, the 65-year-old from Cork who turned professional when he reached the age of 50, chipped in for a birdie-two from 40-feet on the 15th in a bogey-free 68. The luck of the Irish? "Outrageous," he said with a smile. His fellow 60-something and compatriot, Eamonn Darcy, also rolled back the years with a 69 but in his 45th season as a professional, the rigours are beginning to take their toll on one of the older swingers in town. "I'm like a cripple out there," winced the 61-year-old.
The aches and pains, particularly in his shoulder, have led to a couple of retirements already this season but the man who gave Europe a first Ryder Cup win on US soil in 1987 continues to soldier on and a burst of birdies had him five-under through 10 holes. If golf can occasionally hit you where it hurts, Darcy knows that pain killers come in the shape of sub-par scores. "Folk have told me to pack it in," he said. "But if you're shooting 69s it's worth it. It's not if you're shooting 75s, though."
And with that, Darcy was off for another soothing session with the physio. "We'll see if they can wind me up again for the morning," he said as he hirpled away.