Gallacher Returns To Italian Open Delighted With His Double Agenda

Scot Stephen Gallacher may be the second oldest teeing-up in this week’s Italian Open but he’s also in the field with a younger generation of golfers at heart.

Gallacher, 48, received the last of six tournament Rome invitations shortly after finishing top-15 in last Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Challenge.

The Bathgate pro already this year has found himself playing where he can, having forfeited full DP World Tour membership at the end of 2022 in not being fully exempt since a first full season in 1999.

However, in being appointed Captain of the European Ryder Cup side the invitation to tee-up on this week’s Marco Simone course not only presents Gallacher with the chance to help in taking steps to regain his Tour card but the course in September will host the third and final day of the Junior Ryder Cup.

Then for the next three days – Friday September 29th to Sunday October 1st – a Luke Donald led European team will strive to win the 44th hosting of the Ryder Cup.

Gallacher said: “It was magic to receive an invitation into this week’s event, and it’s great for me in being a Junior Ryder Cup Captain.

“I’m going to have a look today (Wednesday) at the Golf Nazionale course where the competition is being held for the first two rounds (September 27th to 28th), as I’ve not seen that course.

“Then the final day of competition will be here at Marco Simone, and on the day before the Ryder Cup itself starts.

“So, it’s been fantastic and what a thrill it will be for the young players on both sides, and everyone involved, to be playing the final where Europe will be battling the States a day later”.

It will be a 12th hosting of the Junior Ryder, first played in 1997 and with the States currently leading 7 to 4, having also won the past six straight.

Gallacher first contested an Italian Open in 1997 and has returned to Marco Simone to join eight other Scots including defending champ, Bob MacIntyre.

As for the oldest in this week’s field it is the 52-year-old Dane Thomas Bjorn, and as one of Donald’s three European vice-captains.

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