Paul McGinley says there is no guarantee Stephen Gallacher will be one of his Ryder Cup picks, despite the Scot agonisingly missing out on an automatic spot.
Gallacher needed to finish in the top two at the Italian Open to grab a qualifying place for September’s Gleneagles showpiece but ended up third, one shot behind runner-up David Howell, and three behind winner Hennie Otto.
While McGinley applauded Gallacher’s efforts in Turin this week, he told Sky Sports this is the toughest European Ryder Cup squad to be a part of and he will analyse the contenders for the three wildcard selections with his vice-captains before they are announced on Tuesday.
“It was a terrific performance by Stephen Gallacher,” he said on Sky Sports. “The gun was to his head but he performed very strongly. All credit to him. It’s unfortunate he’s come up one shot short of being an automatic in the team.
“This has been the toughest ever Ryder Cup team to make from a European point of view, in terms of points you need to amass to make the team, so he has been up against. And for a rank and file guy from the European Tour, who doesn’t play in America and misses out on a lot of the world ranking points as a result, to perform as well as he does all credit to him.
“His performance this week will very strongly be in his favour when it comes to making the picks but there is a lot of emotion around here at the moment, let’s put a little bit of cold water on it.
“There’s a lot of stats to be looked at, other players to be looked at and there’s still golf going on in America which is also going to be influential in terms of the picks, too.
“In the cold light of day, I’ll sit down tomorrow [Monday] with the vice-captains and we’ll assess everything and come up with three picks that are going to add to what is already an incredibly strong nine players.
“The race is not over, we still have two rounds to go in America and that is very much part of the race, just like Italy is. I know it doesn’t count for points but it could have an influence on the pick.”
McGinley revealed his three selections will most likely come from five players: Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Stephen Gallacher and Francesco Molinari.
However, he says his qualified nine already form a formidable team and is excited to see them take on USA in Scotland.
“I’m delighted with those players who have earned their way in,” he said. “It’s a who’s who of European golf and all credit to the guys. It’s a phenomenal standard of performance we’ve seen.
“If you’re a European fan you’ve got to be excited with that team, it’s a wonderful team going into battle against what will be a strong American team. I know they’ve had some issues over there but I’m under no illusions how difficult this task is going to be. They’ll be well led by Tom Watson and they have a lot of players who have shown a lot of form.
“But now the toughest part of my job is coming in the next 24 hours.”
Should Stephen Gallacher get a Ryder Cup wildcard pick?