Golf

Stephen Gallacher and Francesco Molinari chasing Ryder Cup qualification

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European duo Stephen Gallacher and Francesco Molinari will be hoping to boost their Ryder Cup hopes during the final regular event of the PGA Tour season at the Wyndham Championship this week.

Gallacher missed the cut during last week's US PGA Championship, while Molinari finished in a tie for 59th. Both have stayed in the United States as they hope to achieve the points needed to qualify automatically for a place in the European Ryder Cup squad.

Points

Gallacher is only 13 points behind Graeme McDowell, who is currently in the final automatic place. However, McDowell is planning on playing the final two qualifying events on the European Tour, the Czech Masters and the Italian Open as he aims to keep his place in the points rankings.

Gallacher has admitted that he is keen for the opportunity to compete in the Ryder Cup, especially with it being held in his native Scotland.

"We don't get many chances to play in a team event, especially on home soil, and that's why I'll be giving it my all over the next few weeks," he said.

Competition

Molinari is slightly further behind Gallacher and sits 30 points adrift of McDowell, and needs impressive performances in either the Wyndham Championship or the Italian Open in his native country to earn a third consecutive appearance in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

The Wyndham Championships isn't only important in deciding the Ryder Cup qualifiers but also which players qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs. The top 125 players in the standings advance to the first of four possible events, The Barclays, which starts next week.

England's Paul Casey is currently ranked in the final qualifying position but three-time major winner Padraig Harrington is situated in a lowly 188th.

Although those two players face a struggle to qualify for the FedEx Cup play-offs, Patrick Reed certainly doesn't. The Wyndham Championship defending champion is currently ninth in standings and has already qualified to make his Ryder Cup debut next month.

Triumph

Last year's triumph was the 24-year old's first PGA Tour title after he beat Jordan Spieth in a play-off. However, he thrust himself into the spotlight after claiming he was one of the top five players in the world after winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March.

Reed is confident that he can achieve his goal of becoming one of the best players in the world and is relishing the opportunity to defend his Wyndham crown.

"I believe that if I play well that I can reach my goal, which is to become a top five player in the world," Reed said in his pre-tournament press conference. "I know it's going to take time. It doesn't happen overnight and it definitely doesn't happen over a year or two. You need some time to get there.

"But that's one of my goals and what I'm going to shoot for. That's probably everyone's goal out here is to become the best player in the world.

"The feeling coming back to a place where we won our first event and just the support we've had ever since we've been here, it's amazing. It really jump started my career, that's for sure.

"Playing really well here, and actually being able to cap it off and win, it led to me being able to play very well for almost a full year in a row and hopefully that will continue."

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Topics:
PGA Tour
Golf

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