Stephen Gallacher closed out the final round of his Ryder Cup effort with a flawless 65 at the Italian Open. Needing a win, or a second place finish to make the European Ryder Cup team automatically, Gallacher came up one short in third spot.
The Scotsman finished on 17-under-par for the tournament, one shot behind England’s David Howell. After coming so close to making the Gleneagles team automatically, the Dubai Desert Classic champion now has to rely on a pick from European captain Paul McGinley.
"It was a real pressure situation so I am proud of how I handled myself." - Stephen Gallacher
“I am proud of the way I played all week, and last week,” said the 39-year-old. “It was a real pressure situation so I am proud of how I handled myself at the end of the day. To come down to the last hole of a year long qualifying campaign was a pretty good effort.
“There is nothing more I can do. I got off to a great start today. I didn’t play the first hole that well but holed a nice putt, which settled me down lovely. I played great, missed a few, holed a few but I am delighted with how I played.
“It all comes down to someone’s opinion now. At the end of the day I haven’t done enough. We all had the chance of the start of the year and there are nine guys in the team at the moment who have qualified. There are three picks to come and I just hope that I have done enough to get one.”
Paul McGinley on Stephen Gallacher’s Ryder Cup dream
With the nine automatic Ryder Cup places settled, Stephen Gallacher now faces competition from the likes of Lee Westwood and Luke Donald in the race for a captain’s pick.
McGinley, who played in the Italian Open at the weekend was impressed by Gallacher’s efforts, but insisted he needed more time to weigh up his options ahead of September’s match.
“I think like everybody else, it was a terrific performance by Stevie today,” said the Irishman. “Really the gun was to his head he performed very strongly and all credit to him but it’s unfortunate that he’s come up just that one shot short of being an automatic on the team.
"Let’s just put a little bit of cold water on it at the moment." - Paul McGinley
“His performance this week will be very strongly in his favour when it comes to making the picks but there’s a lot of emotion around here at the moment.
“Let’s just put a little bit of cold water on it at the moment, there’s a lot of stats to be looked at, a lot of players to be looked at, there’s still golf going on in America which is going to be influential in terms of the picks as well too.
“In the cold light of day tomorrow I’ll sit down with the two vice-captains Des (Smyth) and Sam (Torrance) who are in place and we’ll assess everything and hopefully come up with three picks that are hopefully going to add to what is already an incredibly strong nine players.”