It’s time to get down to business. At last. In the months, weeks and days leading up to a Solheim Cup, just about every aspect of this, that and the other concerning the biennial bout gets pored over with the same kind of forensic attention to detail that used to be adopted by Mary Berry as she poked and prodded the bottom of a Victoria Sponge.

“We’re all fired up and ready to go,” said the European captain, Catriona Matthew, on the eve of the Scot’s bid to create a bit of history. No European skipper has won two Solheim Cups. Given that Team Europe has won just once on American soil in the 31-year history of the transatlantic tussle, it won’t be an easy task at the Inverness Club in Toledo but Matthew is in bullish mood.

Her players seem to be too. Mel Reid suggested in the build-up to this week’s women’s showpiece that this was the strongest European team ever assembled. “Definitely,” said Matthew with a grin ahead of the defence of the cup that was won in such thrilling fashion under her watch at Gleneagles in 2019. “I don’t want to disagree with someone from my team.”

The cards were flung on the table last night as Matthew and her US counterpart, Pat Hurst, unveiled their pairings for today’s opening session of foursomes.

Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, who is making her seventh Solheim Cup appearance on the back of a brilliant win in the AIG Women’s Open recently, will team up with the wonderfully talented Finnish debutant, Matilda Castren in the top tie against Austin Ernst and Danielle Kang.

Castren won on the LPGA Tour this year but, as she wasn’t a member of the Ladies European Tour (LET), she was ineligible for Solheim Cup selection unless she won an LET event. So what did she do? That’s right, she won on the LET in her native country last month.

Matthew had no qualms about throwing her in at the deep end alongside the vastly experienced Nordqvist.

“We have great confidence in Matilda,” said the 52-year-old from North Berwick. “Winning on the LET knowing that she had to do that to be part of the Solheim Cup was huge. It’s a strong pairing. Anna is coming off her victory at the Women’s Open and she’s champing at the bit. She’s super confident and we wanted her to lead the team out.”

Matthew will be hoping that Georgia Hall, the former Women’s Open champion, and France’s Celine Boutier, can rekindle the profitable partnership they struck up at Gleneagles two years ago. They won three-out-of-three when paired together and they will head out in the second match against Ally Ewing and Megan Khang.

“It was an obvious one that we were going to put out again,” said Matthew of this proven double act.

Leona Maguire, meanwhile, has yet to prove herself on the Solheim Cup stage but Ireland’s first ever representative in the contest will certainly not be overawed by the occasion having reeled of a succession of high finishes on the LPGA Tour this year. The 26-year-old has been paired with Mel Reid in an intriguing match with the Korda sisters, Jessica and world No 1, Nelly.

“I think their games really compliment each other,” said Matthew. “Leona hits lots of fairways, greens and is a fantastic putter and Mel has perhaps got that little extra bit of length.”

Charley Hull and Emily Pedersen go out in the anchor match against Brittany Altomare and Lexi Thompson. Europe haven’t lost an opening foursomes session since 2007. Matthew will be hoping they get off to a flying start today.