It’s probably happened to a load of players down the seasons when they are trying to put on a show in the scrap for a Walker Cup place.

There they are, coasting along quite the thing and then a posse of R&A selectors inch into view at the side of the fairway and said player immediately skitters a wild approach into the whins.

“If a selector ever came to watch me I’d have never got picked,” said the current GB&I captain Craig Watson with his usual sense of deadpan, self-deprecation.

Watson, of course, did plenty of things right in his playing pomp and his win in the 1997 Amateur Championship earned him a spot on the GB&I Walker Cup team that year.

Here in 2019, Watson will be on the sidelines peering on as the race to make the team for September’s clash with the USA intensifies in this week’s Amateur Championship at Portmarnock.

A total of six Scots were included in the initial 26-man GB&I training squad from which the final 10 will be largely plucked.

At 50 years old, the name of Euan McIntosh stands out like, well a 50-year-old in a pool of teenagers and 20-somethings. “He’s been playing fine, nothing overly exciting as he will tell you, but he’s been making cuts,” Watson said of the reigning Scottish Amateur champion’s season so far.

“If you get a good draw in the Amateur, and you putt well, anything can happen. I proved that when I won. It’s nice for Euan that he gave himself a chance. He may be 50 but he’s playing full-time on the scene and still on something of a level playing field. It’s still very unusual to get someone of that age in the squad, though.”

Among the tartan young guns looking to impress in Ireland this week are Nairn’s Sandy Scott, the former Scottish Boys’ Strokeplay champion, and Ryan Lumsden, who qualified for last year’s US Open and recently earned the prestigious Byron Nelson Award for his athletic and academic efforts during his golf scholarship at Northwestern University in Chicago.

“I’ve not seen Ryan since the Home Internationals last year so I’m looking forward to catching up with these him and some of the other guys,” added Watson.

“This is Ryan’s first event back here so it’s a big chance for him to try and impress. With my Scottish hat on, it would be nice if one of them could pull that big result out of the bag as the team is beginning to take shape.”

Watson had to step down from the captaincy at the last Walker Cup in Los Angeles two years ago due to a family bereavement but the popular East Renfrewshire stalwart has been afforded another crack at the transatlantic tussle at Hoylake.

The US are the holders but they have not won on this side of the pond since 2007, when a team led by Dustin Johnson and Rickie Fowler beat a GB&I side featuring Rory McIlroy.

“I think there will be more pressure this time as we are at home,” reasoned Watson. “We went over there as holders in 2017 but we have only ever won twice in America. There’s more on our shoulders this time again.”

Elsewhere in the unpaid game, England’s Emily Toy won the Women’s Amateur Championship with a one-hole win over New Zealand’s Amelia Garvey at County Down.

Toy’s victory earned her a place in the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship as well as next year’s US Women’s Open and the Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship.