Today marks the start of the Open de Italia - the final event counting towards the European Ryder Cup points total.
We caught up with captain Paul McGinley, who is in Turin to get a first-hand look at Stephen Gallacher, who could pip Graeme McDowell to a place at Gleneagles with a first or second place finish.
“I know the situation that he’s under, I’ve been in that exact situation, pretty much, in 2004 on Bernhard Langer’s team when I went into the last counting event. I think I was just outside the team if not just inside but I was defending my position from Freddie Jacobson and it came down, we were actually drawn together on the last day and went right down to playing the last hole, actually and I finished in the top five and pushed myself into the team and went on to play what I consider to be my best Ryder Cup in 2004 in Detroit. So I know exactly how Stevie’s feeling and I know that if he should come through this week with a very strong performance that will set him up wonderfully well for Gleneagles.”
Next Tuesday also marks the date when McGinley has to decide his three wildcard picks.
With eight places confirmed, the likes of Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald have an anxious wait to see if they’ll make Team Europe.
“I don’t really want to discount anybody but in general we all know Francesco [Molinari] has got a big part to play too. He’s been a great Ryder Cup player, as we know, and I’m very closely looking at him as too. He’s got an advantage playing on his home course this week. He’s been a great Ryder Cup player [and] he’s played very consistently as well too. Obviously Stevie is big there too and obviously Luke is playing in America this week as well too and Poulter is playing in America so I’m interested to see how those guys play. Outside of that I wouldn’t discount anybody, you know, somebody comes out of the blue and wins in a very impressive fashion and other things don’t evolve the way we expect them to evolve then they would be considered too. I don’t want to discount anybody I learned a long time agonever to say 100 percent one way or the other.”
That’s all for today, join us tomorrow when we’ll bring you news from the first round in Italy and look ahead to the PGA’s Deutsche Bank Championship. In the meantime follow us on twitter @golfingworldtv and we’re on Facebook and Instagram too.