Paul McGinley Undertsands Pressure Facing Stephen Gallacher.

Paul McGinley understands from personal experience the pressure facing the one player – Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher – who has the chance at this week’s Italian Open of breaking into the European Tour.

If Gallacher should finish first or second then he can pack his bags for the 35-mile journey to the course he virtually knows like the back of his hand – Gleneagles.

And McGinley is acutely aware of the situation Gallacher finds himself having secured a place in Bernhard Langer’s team for the 2004 event following a strong finish in the final qualifying event – the BMW International Open in Munich.

“It’s a big event and a big week for so many people,” he said.

Paul McGinley understands the pressure facing Stephen Gallacher at this week's Italian Open.  (Photo -

Paul McGinley understands the pressure facing Stephen Gallacher at this week’s Italian Open. (Photo –

“I have been in this situation before, going into the last calendar event in 2004, where I was I think just outside the team. I think I may have been 11th place with Frederik Jacobson just ahead of me.

“We had a race to the finish line right until the last day. We were drawn together on the last day and I think I finished in the top five of the tournament and edged just ahead of Freddie. I then went on to play what I considered to be my best Ryder Cup in 2004.

“I can understand the pressure the guys are under. I can relate to it. There is no doubt that the performance I had in Munich in 2004 that pushed myself over the line was a huge psychological boost for me.

“It was one of the reasons why I believed I played so well. There is an opportunity for the guys that are here this week to do something similar.

“To play well in the last counting event, with the spotlight on you, will be huge for them. If not making the team, then its certainly useful in terms of making an impression.”

Only Gallacher can make a difference to the make-up of the current top-nine ranked players.

In order to leapfrog Graeme McDowell into the final automatic qualifying spot, the Scot – currently sitting 11th place in the World Ranking List – needs to win or finish runner-up at the Circolo Golf Torino – La Mandria this week.

Like Jamie Donaldson at the D+D REAL Czech Masters last week, McGinley wants Gallacher to thrive on the pressure.

He said: “I can relate to Stevie. I was in a situation where I had to go head-to-head so I know how he is feeling. I know how he has been feeling the last few weeks.

“He is very much in it and I wish him the very best of luck. I know what it is like to play a Ryder Cup in your home country, I had that privilege in 2006. I want to see guys bursting over the line.

“I want to see that line been something you want to gravitate towards, something that you long for and something that you play towards.

“Something that is exciting and your golf as a result raises to another level and drags you towards that line. Just like Jamie Donaldson did last week. That’s what he did. It was an exciting time for him.”


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