• Italian Open

Gallacher has Ryder Cup in his sights

ESPN staff
August 30, 2014
Which way to Gleneagles? Stephen Gallacher has given himself a chance for Ryder Cup qualification © Getty Images

Hennie Otto carded a one-under 71 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Italian Open, where Stephen Gallacher's late bid to qualify for the Ryder Cup will go down to the wire.

Otto, who won this event in 2008, began the day with a three-shot lead but struggled at times, carding two bogeys and a double bogey as well as five birdies.

Gallacher shot a 69 to move to within six shots of the lead and four behind compatriot Richie Ramsay in second place.

Gallacher is the only man still capable of moving into the automatic Ryder Cup places in the final qualifying event, with a top-two finish enough to dislodge former US Open Champion Graeme McDowell from Europe's team.

"It keeps me in touching distance," Gallacher told the European Tour's website.

"The worst thing I could have done was open up a big gap which was insurmountable. I've not done that so a good day on Sunday and I am still right in there. I had about four lip-outs today but they went in on Friday and I holed a couple of good putts at the end so it evens itself out.

"It's all to play for. You never know what happens in this game and guys have won from further back than this. I'll just go out and try and get as many birdies as possible and see what happens.

"It's a tough week obviously. I have done my day job and done it well but it is a long week and will take a lot out of me mentally but I have two weeks off after this and one round to go, so will give it my best shot.

"This is the only time in my career that I would be happy not to win a golf tournament. Second will do me fine on Sunday."

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