With two events remaining until automatic qualification for the European Ryder Cup is settled, Stephen Gallacher is hoping for a win at the Czech Masters this week to bolster his chances of making Paul McGinley’s side for Gleneagles.
The Scotsman already has a victory under his belt on Czech soil after winning the 1998 KB Golf Challenge, and after starting with a two-under-par first round 70, he's hopefully he'll be in the mix come Sunday.
“It’s exciting,” said the Dubai Desert Classic winner, prior to the tournament. “It’s just a case of trying to do as well as you can at this tournament and prepare to win it.
“It’s been good golf that got me into this position so the worst thing I can do is try and think of something else.”
Despite missing the cut in his last two events, the 39-year-old is still in the hunt for automatic qualification for next month’s match.
"I'm in a position with two tournaments to go where I can still automatically qualify, which is a great place to be.” - Stephen Gallacher.
The top nine players on the World Points List, not already qualified through the European List, head to Gleneagles. Gallacher is only two places behind Graeme McDowell on the world list in 11th, and he maintains he’s in a ‘great’ position to qualify.
“Obviously The Ryder Cup will be in the back of my mind,” said the world No.34. “The hardest thing is just trying to do what you do normally. I'm in a position with two tournaments to go where I can still automatically qualify, which is a great place to be.”
Gallacher’s mental approach to Ryder Cup campaign
Everyone else may be thinking of the possible permutations Stephen Gallacher needs for a place in the Ryder Cup. But, the man himself feels the best way to secure his spot is to put it to the back of his mind and get down to business on the course.
“I'm just taking it week by week, until it’s done,” said the Bathgate man. “You’ve got to play your own game.
“Some tournaments you’ll be more aggressive and others you’ll be more cautious depending on the course lay-out, set-up and the weather. Once I get on the golf course I won’t really think about it much.”
"It’s The Ryder Cup in Scotland and I want to be there." - Stephen Gallacher
This year marks the Ryder Cup’s first return to Scotland since Muirfield in 1973, and as a Scot, Gallacher is determined to make the team.
“It is what it is,” said Gallacher. “It’s The Ryder Cup in Scotland and I want to be there, so the only way I can do that is by playing well.”