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The European Tour stages the inaugural Czech Masters this Thursday, with Stephen Gallacher aiming reignite his bid for Paul McGinley’s European Ryder Cup team in the penultimate week for automatic qualification.
The Scotsman travels to the Czech Republic two places behind Graeme McDowell who is in ninth spot in the World Points List, with England’s Luke Donald one place ahead of him.
The top four in the European Points List automatically make the team for September’s match. Following that, the top five on the world list, not already qualified from the European list, secure automatic spots in McGinley’s team. The captain will then make three wildcard picks to complete his 12-man line-up.
To make sure he makes the journey to Gleneagles, Gallacher needs to prove his worth at the Czech Masters. In recent weeks, though, the world No.34 has struggled for form, missing the cut at the PGA Championship and the Wyndham Championship last week.
His last top ten finish came at the Scottish Open over a month ago, where he finished fourth at Royal Aberdeen. If he’s to make the team on merit, the 39-year-old will to be in the hunt come Sunday.
Challenging Gallacher at the Czech Masters
As he tries to follow in his uncle Bernard’s footsteps and represent Europe in the Ryder Cup, the two-time Dubai Desert Classic winner will have to go head-to-head with some of the European Tour’s top talent.
One of those will be 28-year-old Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, looking to draw upon the experienced of being paired with Rory McIlroy in the PGA Championship’s final round.
“I’m going to try and feed off that good week in Kentucky,” he told europeantour.com. “Hopefully I can do that more often for the rest of the season. I will have some support with me this week.”
Three places behind Gallacher in the Ryder Cup World Points List, Joost Luiten is one of the favourites heading into the Czech Masters after an impressive season so far. The Dutchman finished a respectable 26th in the PGA Championship two weeks ago, and he has four top tens to his name on the European Tour this year. He’ll be gunning for his fourth European Tour title this weekend.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson is in Paul McGinley’s team for Gleneagles as things stand, but in eighth place on the World List, his place is by no means safe. He knows he needs to play well at the Czech Masters to keep his hopes of a Ryder Cup debut alive. Will claim the re-named Czech Masters – formerly Czech Open, and with it his first title of the year?
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