Half of the European Ryder Cup squad joined their captain Ian Woosnam at the K Club yesterday for some valuable practice on the Palmer Course and some team bonding ahead of the match with the USA in two weeks time.

Jose Maria Olazabal, Paul Casey, Darren Clarke, Luke Donald, David Howell and Padraig Harrington were all present on the trip, which mirrored that of the US team when they all travelled to Ireland with skipper Tom Lehman early last week.

Olazabal, who will be playing in the event for the first time since 1999 at Brookline, was suitably impressed with some of the changes that have been made since his last visit there. The Spaniard has an excellent Ryder Cup record and will be making his seventh appearance.

“We want to see how it’s playing and Woosie will pinpoint his ideas and we’ll see what he has to say,” said the 40 year-old.

“There are a lot of new trees and you really have to play good golf around here now.”

The rest of the European team were either playing in tournaments or resting, so did not make the trip across the Irish Sea. Woosnam will be hoping that the reconnaissance mission will aid his team’s bid to defend the Ryder Cup. The action runs from September 22/24 and for all the best news log on to www.golf-monthly.co.uk.