Stephen Gallacher gets into Italian Open after Dunhill display

Stephen Gallacher
Stephen Gallacher
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Lothians star Stephen Gallacher has secured a spot in this week’s big-money Italian Open despite just missing out on a fourth top-10 in the Dunhill Links.

The 42-year-old signed off with a five-under-par 67 at St Andrews to tie for 12th behind Tyrrell Hatton as the Englishman became the first player to win the pro-am event back-to-back.

Initially, Gallacher thought he’d missed out on getting into the Rolex Series event starting at Monza on Thursday, having believed he needed to finish slightly higher.

But the Ryder Cup player received good news soon after arriving home in West Lothian to ssay he in, after all on the strength of his Race to Dubai position.

“It was a good weekend,” said the Ryder Cup player of being seven-under-par in his final two rounds and achieving his goal for the event

Gallacher birdied the last on the Old Course, where he triumphed in 2004, after dropping shot of the day at the previous hole.

“I made a bit of an arse of 17 but played an unbelievable chip over the bunker to about four-foot but it horse-shoed on me,” he said.

“I’m really happy with the way I’m playing but I’m just not getting the low scores out there, the 63s that I’m giving myself chances to make. I putted poorly the whole week. It is just a patience game.”

Gallacher now has two more chances – Italy then next’s week’s Valderrama Masters – to secure a spot in this season’s Final Series, which starts with the Turkish Airlines Open at the beginning of next month.

“Absolutely,” he replied when it was pointed out that this performance was another boost for him in this season’s Race to Dubai.

Capital-based Richie Ramsay is hoping he’ll be fit to tee up in the Italian Open despite withdrawing before Saturday’s third with injured shoulder tendons. He still intends to fly out to Monza today.

Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest and Turnhouse-attached Duncan Stewart both missed the 54-hole cut in the Dunhill Links.