The smile on Colin Montgomerie's face as he addressed an audience of kilt-wearing Scotsmen was, as they say in his home country, "as wide as the Clyde".
Europe's newly announced Ryder Cup captain danced giddily as he spoke briefly at an event hosted by his local council at Burj Al Arab on Wednesday night.
With a backdrop of Scottish poet Robert Burns and a host of St Andrews flags, Montgomerie laughed and joked with delegates from South Ayrshire Council and Dubai-based Leisurecorp.
"For all of those who are Scottish, doesn't this kind of remind you of Ayrshire," said Montgomerie jokingly, gazing up at the interior of Dubai's trademark seven-star hotel. "We have something very similar there… well, we don't really – at all."
The 45-year-old, from Troon, wore a beaming grin as he thanked Leisurecorp for their involvement in the redevelopment of the iconic Turnberry Resort.
"I own an Academy there and I look forward so much to playing the Open Championships 2009 at Turnberry with the new Leisurecorp facility there," he said.
"I want to thank you for making Turnberry not only, I think, the best golf course in Britain, but also the best golf resort in Britain as well.
"I wish all those who have travelled from Scotland, four days of sunshine and on behalf of George O'Grady, my chief executive, I can say we are well on our way already to winning back the Ryder Cup in 2010."
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