Stephen Gallacher needs win or runner-up finish in Italy to secure a Ryder Cup place
Last Updated: 26/08/14 10:49am
Stephen Gallacher: Needs a win or runner-up finish in Italy to qualify for Ryder Cup
Stephen Gallacher will head into this week’s Italian Open knowing he needs a win or runner-up finish to secure a place on Europe’s Ryder Cup team.
The Scot – who is nephew of three-time Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher – currently sits in 11th place in the World Ranking List, behind Graeme McDowell who occupies the ninth and final automatic qualification spot.
However, with McDowell not in action this week following the birth of his first child and no qualification points on offer to Luke Donald or Ian Poulter (who are tenth and 12th on the World List) in the PGA Tour's Deutsche Bank Championship, Gallacher has a final chance to book his ticket.
A victory at the European Tour event in Turin would be enough for Gallacher to guarantee his presence on home soil at Gleneagles next month.
Indeed, the 39-year-old could afford to finish second, or in a two-way tie for second, and still qualify for Paul McGinley’s team.
He has not played the tournament in Italy for the past three years, and has never achieved better than a tenth-placed finish at the event, but will be hoping the incentive of a Ryder Cup debut will help to produce his best form.
Gallacher missed a chance to further push his claims as he finished in a share of seventh at the Czech Masters on Sunday despite being in contention for the title heading into the weekend.
He commented afterwards: "The week went pretty well - bit disappointed with today. I didn't really play that well, but top ten if you're not firing is quite good."
One man who is now certain to feature at Gleneagles is Jamie Donaldson who sealed his place on Europe’s team by winning in the Czech Republic.
The Welshman clinched the third European Tour title of his career by a two-shot margin at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague and said afterwards: "This is big - it's been an amazing week.
"It's so difficult to get into the team, the lads are playing so well. You know that you have to play well to secure your place and it did come down to the wire. But that's how it is to get into the team - I played as well as I can play for 18 months, and then a couple of slow events and you rocket down the list, so it's great to come here and play so well and do enough to get into the team."
Donaldson joins Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Sergio Garcia, Justin Rose, Martin Kaymer and Thomas Bjorn in securing his place on the European side.