When it comes to earning a spot in the Solheim Cup there are a heck of a lot of what-ifs, maybes and wait-and-sees.

This week’s Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at The Renaissance is the last chance saloon as far as European qualification is concerned so expect plenty of increasingly fraught elbowing, jockeying, gouging and biting for position. And that will be just in the queue for the media centre finger buffet.

For the movers and shakers involved in the cut-and-thrust, there’s still time for somebody to do a bit of this, somebody to do a bit of that and somebody else to do a bit of the other.

Catriona Matthew, the European captain for next month’s tussle with the US at Gleneagles, will name her four wild card picks next Monday but the eight automatic slots in her side will be finalised come Sunday night.

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The likes of Charley Hull, Georgia Hall and Carlota Ciganda, who leads the Ladies European Tour points list, are all locked in. But there are still around 12 players who could jump into the top three on the points order and knock out Anne Van Dam, the current No 3, if she doesn’t pick up any qualifying points here at The Renaissance.

And then there’s qualification through the world rankings with Anna Nordqvist just 0.01 points ahead of Celine Boutier on that particular order. Are you still following? No? Good, because this scribe lost his way about three paragraphs ago.

Matthew can’t do anything about the automatic processes that will unravel over the weekend. “If you look mathematically, there’s a lot of people who could still potentially play their way in, there’s still a big pool,” she said.

Her captain’s picks, meanwhile, are down to her. As ever, the 49-year-old, who won the Scottish title in 2011 and 2013, will approach the whole affair with quiet diligence. “I’m looking at a slightly smaller pool (in the race for wild cards), but you have to be ready for that unexpected result.

Evening Times:

“Obviously I’ve got my eye on a few people. As a player, I kind of know some of them haven’t had the results over the last couple of weeks that they would have liked and know they have to put in a big week this week. I think everyone hopefully knows what they need to do.”

Matthew has enjoyed her stint as captain but, away from the photo shoots and convivial fluff that is part and parcel of the job, it’s now getting down to the nitty-gritty.

Picking up the phone and telling various players that they won’t be in her team is not a task she is relishing. “When you take it (the captaincy) on, I think you have to accept that you’re going to make mistakes and you’re probably going to annoy people,” she conceded.

“No matter what you do, someone’s not going to be happy. The best thing I’ve tried to do is to be up front with people and communicate. I’ll try and be fairly honest in what I think they need to do.”

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Matthew has her own bitter experiences of the Solheim Cup selection process. “I wasn’t told, actually,” she said of a snub delivered to her back in the day by the then European captain, Dale Reid, which caused quite a stooshie at the time.

“I think that (not being told) is the worst. I think you’ve got to tell the people who aren’t in. I think they deserve that.”

The captain’s job can be all consuming and most skippers find that their own game tends to suffer amid the myriad distractions.

“I could make it an excuse but it’s more down to me rather than being captain,” said Matthew with her usual honesty. That’s her policy, after all.