Stephen Gallacher determined to seal automatic Gleneagles place

Aims is true: Stephen Gallacher. Pic Ian Rutherford
Aims is true: Stephen Gallacher. Pic Ian Rutherford
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Stephen Gallacher today set his sights on pipping Graeme McDowell for the last automatic spot in Europe’s Ryder Cup team.

The Lothians star needs to finish in the top two in this week’s Italian Open – the last qualifying event – to secure a spot at Gleneagles at McDowell’s expense.

Failing that, Gallacher would need a wild card and will find himself up against experienced Ryder Cup men when it comes to Paul McGinley’s three picks.

Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood all now need one of those to make the team so Gallacher is determined to grab his final chance to get their under his own steam in Italy.

“Finishing in the top two in Italy is what I need to qualify automatically and I’ll be trying my best to achieve that,” he told the Edinburgh Evening News.

Gallacher tied for seventh in the Czech Masters as Welshman Jamie Donaldson won to secure his place at Gleneagles.

McDowell isn’t playing in Italy – his wife is due to give birth this week – but the Northern Irishman was sporting towards Gallacher as he prepares one last throw at the dice.

“With the Ryder Cup being in Scotland, I certainly would not begrudge him a spot in the team,” he said.

Meanwhile, Capital ace Andrew Oldcorn is up to 11th on the European Senior Tour after finishing joint-second in the English Seniors Open at Rockliffe Hall.