Can you remember what you were doing when Suzann Pettersen earned Europe a truly unforgettable Solheim Cup victory at Gleneagles in 2019 with the final putt of the final match? Probably wearing out the edge of your seat and nibbling your fingernails into calloused stumps. The golf writers certainly were.

As for Gemma Dryburgh? “I was there as a spectator and stormed the 18th green,” said the Aberdonian as she reflected on a fraught finale that was so unbearably tense, it was akin to watching somebody trying to defuse a bomb and sweating over which wire to cut as the clock ticked down to zero. “It’s honestly the best sporting moment I’ve ever witnessed. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.”

Here in 2023, Dryburgh is hoping to make some Solheim Cup memories of her own. This week’s Freed Group Women’s Scottish Open at Dundonald Links, which is headlined by eight of the world’s top-12 players, is another opportunity for her to stake a late claim for one of the four wild card picks that will be unveiled later this month. As the jostling and jockeying heads towards the closing stretch, the aforementioned Pettersen, who will captain Team Europe for September’s transatlantic tussle with the US, has given the Scot plenty of encouragement in this final push to impress.

“I’ve told her that she doesn’t have to prove anything to me, she just needs to play her game and let the golf do the talking,” said the decorated Norwegian. “She has great strengths throughout her game. She would be a great asset, not just as a player but with her bubbly personality.”

There is plenty to play for, then, over the next few weeks. After a number of seasons of hard graft, Dryburgh finally got to taste the fruits of her labours when she claimed a maiden victory on the LPGA Tour last November. “It’s very, very hard to win out here,” she said of the competitive rigours of plying her trade on the strongest tour in the women’s game. “I know there are lots of good girls who haven’t won on tour yet so I feel lucky to have done that. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for the next one to arrive.”

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Since that barnstorming breakthrough, Dryburgh’s form has been steady rather than spectacular. She has made 12 cuts in 14 events during the 2023 campaign but the 30-year-old upped the ante at the right time last weekend with a share of eighth in the Evian Championship, which was, by far, her best finish in a major championship.

Maintaining that form in Ayrshire, and carrying it on into next week’s AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath, will have a major bearing on those Solheim Cup ambitions. “It’s in the back of all our minds,” added Dryburgh, who is striving to become just the seventh Scot to play in the Solheim Cup. “It’s been a goal of mine ever since I can remember. To be part of it would be unbelievable.”

While Dryburgh is now an established force on the women’s circuit, Ayrshire’s Louise Duncan continues to find her feet in the perilous terrain of professional golf. After her top-10 finish in the AIG Women’s Open as an amateur in 2021, Duncan made her pro debut in the Scottish Open here at Dundonald last season but missed the cut. “After that top-10, I think everyone just thought that I’d go out and do that in every event,” said the 23-year-old of the burden of expectation.

Halfway through her first season on the Ladies European Tour, Duncan goes into this week’s event a little less fazed. “I definitely feel more comfortable than last year, when I felt a little bit out of place and didn’t know what to expect,” she conceded.

Duncan and Dryburgh form part of a stellar line-up at Dundonald which includes all four major champions from 2023, including the most recent, Celine Boutier, who triumphed at the Evian Championship last Sunday. Boutier was runner-up in the Scottish Open a year ago to the fast-finishing Ayaka Furue, who closed with a rousing charge that could have featured mounted cavalry. Her course-record 62 blitzed the field and remains a thing of wonder. “By playing a practice round today, I really realised that 10-under is a great, great score on this course,” she said with a smile after an eye-opening tune-up in the lively Ayrshire conditions.