American Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman has accepted an invitation to visit a military hospital in Washington before flying to Ireland with members of his team tomorrow night.
Originally it was planned to have a White House send-off from President Bush, but that was cancelled because he is preparing for a speech to the United Nations.
So Lehman will lead a group of officials and possibly some players as well to the Walter Reed Hospital, to which many of those injured in the Iraq War have been brought.
The hospital admitted its first patients in 1909 and the First World War saw its capacity grow from 80 beds to 2,500 in a matter of months. Through World War Two, Korea and Vietnam hundreds of thousands of soldiers were treated.
The 1991 Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island became known as “The War on the Shore“, the 1999 match in Boston was dubbed “The Battle of Brookline“. Lehman, who became a controversial figure in the second of those, should have no difficulty putting next week’s contest into perspective following the visit.