When players are trying to qualify for the Ryder Cup, observers, analysts, experts, doyens and soothsayers will all have an opinion on why they should be playing in this event, why they shouldn’t be playing in that event and why they should’ve tried to play in the other event.

For the actual players themselves, it’s probably best to just stick the fingers in the lugs and not listen to any of the ponderings and pontifications going on in the background.

While the Ryder Cup can be an all-consuming beast, Robert MacIntyre has always looked at the bigger picture. Instead of chasing Ryder Cup points on European soil recently, the 25-year-old stayed on in the USA to attempt to earn a lucrative PGA Tour card through the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour finals.

He didn’t make the promised land but it was very much a case of nothing ventured, nothing gained. As for the Ryder Cup? Well, don’t write MacIntyre off just yet.

Next week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth is the final counting event in the European qualifying race and will lead to the kind of frenzied elbowing, jockeying and gouging for position that used to be the reserve of the queue before the doors of the Boxing Day Sales swung open.

A raft of players could still force their way into Padraig Harrington’s team with a win in the European Tour’s flagship event and MacIntyre is eyeing a double six with his last throw of the dice in the last chance saloon.

“The Ryder Cup is not over, the dream’s still there,” said the Oban left-hander. “There are guys who’ve played these last few weeks in Europe and are playing well, but I can pass them all with one big finish at Wentworth and that’s the target.

“I’ll be an automatic pick if I win Wentworth. That’s pretty certain. The race isn’t run, Until Padraig tells us the team, I’ve got as much of a chance as most of the guys.”

MacIntyre’s American road trip – he hasn’t played in Europe since July’s Open - ended with two missed cuts in the Korn Ferry Tour finals. A rigorous stretch had taken its toll on the Scot but MacIntyre is adamant his pursuit of his “long-term future” on the PGA Tour was worth a stab.

“I think I made the right choice,” said MacIntyre, who has been on Harrington’s radar ever since the Irishman became European skipper.

“I try not to look back and regret things. If I came back to Europe and didn’t play well, I’m not going to get in the Ryder Cup team. If I went to the Korn Ferry finals and didn’t play well, I wasn’t getting my PGA Tour card and I wasn’t getting in the Ryder Cup.

“But, if I played well on the Korn Ferry Tour, I was going to get my card and maybe the Ryder Cup. The first week on the Korn Ferry in Boise was as strong a field as the Czech Masters on the European Tour. We planned it for a reason.

“I did the right thing to achieve a PGA Tour card. Everyone’s goal is to get one and play against the best players in the world. I take the bull by the horns and go for it.”

MacIntyre is currently enjoying the “Oban air” as he looks to galvanise himself for the big push next week. After a share of eighth in The Open back in July, the transatlantic to-ing and fro-ing eventually caught up with him.

“Physically I’m fine,” he insisted. “My golf game last week was brilliant even though I missed the cut, but mentally I wasn’t at the races. I was letting little things get to me. That happened a couple of years ago and I didn’t take a break, I just kept going and eventually it was at breaking point.

“But I was out in the US trying to achieve something so I just kept going and going again because I was so close to it. But I have to realise my mental health’s more important than my golf.”

Like all Ryder Cup hopefuls, MacIntyre has already been measured for various uniforms, regalia and rig-outs just in case he makes the cut. “It was done a wee while ago and I’ve probably put on a bit of timber since then,” he chuckled.

He may squeeze into the Ryder Cup yet.