With a 2014 Ryder Cup berth on the line, Stephen Gallacher is attempting to play his way onto Paul McGinley’s European Team this week at the Open D’Italia Presented by DAMIANI. The 30 year-old Scot needs to finish no worse than second at the Circolo Golf Torino near the Alps in Torino, Italy, to win the last play-in spot offered by the European Tour.
After shooting even par 72 on Thursday, it didn’t look good for Gallacher, but he came to play on Friday. He swapped an eagle three at the par five first hole for a double bogey at six before putting up a barrage of birdies on the back nine.
Six birdies down the stretch would get the journeyman Scot in the clubhouse with a seven under par 65 total for the day, and the tournament. South African, Hennie Otto is not making it easy after posting a 67-62 16 under par total for the week, and putting up a huge target for the weekend.
Others in the way include Bernd Wiesberger, who is sitting in second place two strokes back, Spaniard, Raphael Cabrera-Bello who shot a 63 on Friday to put his name in the hat. Wiesberger made some noise at Valhalla earlier this month, and finished The PGA Championship with a T15.
Stephen Gallacher would be a nice addition to Team Euro even if he doesn’t play his way in this weekend. He won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic back in February, beating Phil Mickelson down the stretch. He finished in the top ten, in some early events including the HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, and the WGC-Cadillac Championship.
Grahme McDowell currently holds down the final play-in spot, and who ever doesn’t win the final spot is expected to be the first of three Captains Picks by Paul McGinley.
Team Europe has some interesting options as we get closer to selection day that includes Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, and Luke Donald. Donald hasn’t played great in 2014, but all three are seasoned Ryder Cup veterans who would fit on this team at Gleneagles late next month.
Stephen Gallacher is currently in 9th place in the Race To Dubai Championship, and Donald is making some early noise at the Deutche Bank Championship in Boston, which is getting underway today, and will be a Monday finish for the Labor Day weekend.