With the main contenders putting together their final preparations on the driving range, it is interesting to gauge the players’ moods as the starting gate awaits. Some look relax, some tense, some turn down interview requests, others make every effort to make the autograph hunter’s day.

With reigning champion Padraig Harrington well into his routine before I arrived in his usual spot near the entrance, the pretenders to the crown chipped and drove either side of the Irishman. Ben Curtis, a winner of this tournament in 2003, was striking the ball cleanly but a little too eager for my liking. England’s big hope, Simon Wakefield, was rushing through the bag, hitting his driver beautifully.

Anthony Kim, looking dashing in a cheeky little white number, spent quite a while practising his short game and KJ Choi punished his irons through a rigorous session.

But my main attention had to turn to the man of the moment, with Greg Norman turning up at approximately 1.20pm, exactly an hour before his scheduled tee-off time. Conducting what was a short and sweet interview with the BBC, the Australian took up his usual spot at the end of the range, hitting his wedges high into the sky across the wind before working his way up to the big dog.

While Norman was accompanied only by his trusty caddie, Harrington had an entourage around him, and spent most of his time working on his iron play flush into the wind. He looks in great shape, and the two front runners have just stepped up to the plate as I write these final words. Here’s to a great 18 holes of Championship golf. It’s been a cracker!