Saturday, August 30, 2014


Otto leads as Gallacher’s Ryder Cup bid 

goes to the wire in Italian Open


Hennie Otto will take a two stroke lead into the final round of the 71st Open d’Italia presented by Damiani at Circolo Golf Torino – La Mandria, where Stephen Gallacher’s bid to steal the last available qualifying place on Europe’s Ryder Cup team looks likely to go to the wire.
Otto, who experienced tightness in the back he had operated on twice at the beginning of the summer after eight holes of the third round, posted a one under 71 to move to 16 under and into  two-shot lead over Scotland’s Richie Ramsay in second spot – the position that Gallacher is coveting above all else this week.
Gallacher needs to win or finish second (alongside no more than one other player) to take the last of available spots on Paul McGinley’s European Team and he is just four shots behind Ramsay with 18 holes of the qualification campaign to go before McGinley completes his 12-man team with three Captains Picks next Tuesday.
Gallacher cared a three under 69 to move to ten under and will have to get past Bernd Wiesberger (-13), Ross Fisher and Lee Slattery (both-11) if he is to turn his Ryder Cup dream into reality.

Key Player quotes

Stephen Gallacher: “It keeps me in touching distance. 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 tomorrow and I am still right in there.
“I am lying sixth going into the last round – six behind first and four behind second – so it’s all to play for. You never know what happens in this game. I just need to 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 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 tomorrow.”
Richie Ramsay: “That was very satisfying and a really good day on the golf course. I hit a lot of good shots out there. It sounds funny but it was quite easy – I was accepting of the bad shots I hit and just got on with it and then I managed to make a few birdies as well, especially holing a 40 foot putt on the last. 

"That was a great way to finish the day and gets me one closer to Hennie. I was very positive and confident today and hopefully I can do it all again tomorrow.
“I love the back nine on a Sunday when I am in contention. It’s what I love most about the game and I actually think it is when I am at my most confident. It will be great fun tomorrow.
“I know Stevie (Gallacher) well. I spend a lot of time at Kingsfield where he practises. It’s a big ask this week but he has shown over the past 12 months how good a player he is. I think if he didn’t qualify he would still be an asset to the team. Not just for his ball striking and general play, but his attitude and the kind of guy means he would bring a lot to the team. 

"His record at Gleneagles is impressive too. I would hate to be the person that denies him but I think if Stevie was in my position he would play to win and that is the attitude I have to take into tomorrow.”
Hennie Otto: “It was a rough day to be honest. My back started to tighten after 8 holes but I managed to get it round even though I couldn’t swing it properly. I got a little lucky at time as well but you need that in this game if you are going to win a tournament.
“I don’t have a lot of pain it is just tightness more than anything. It’s uncomfortable but not painful enough to stop me playing. I’m not really worried about it – I was in serious pain before the operations but this is nothing like that and I can get it fixed with some stretching and physio just now.
“It’s nice to be up there. I haven’t been up there for a while but I am hitting a lot of good shots and I will just focus on that.”


Par 216 (3x72)

200 H Otto (RSA) 67 62 71
202 R Ramsay  (Sco) 67 69 66
203 B Wiesberger  (Aut) 66 66 71
205 L Slattery (Eng) 70 68 67; R Fisher (Eng) 69 66 70;
206 S Gallacher (Sco) 72 65 69
207 F Molinari (Ita) 66 72 69; J Luiten (Ned) 69 68 70; D Howell (Eng) 73 67 67; S Chowrasia (Ind) 69 72 66
208 M Korhonen (Fin) 70 67 71; C Del Moral (Esp) 70 68 70; R Wattel  (Fra) 73 68 67; M Warren (Sco) 69 70 69; R Gonzalez (Arg) 74 66 68; A Sullivan (Eng) 70 72 66; S Dyson  (Eng) 71 68 69; D Fichardt (RSA) 68 69 71; J Morrison  (Eng) 70 66 72;
209 M Bremner (RSA) 71 68 70; S Hansen (Den) 71 66 72; A Hartø  (Den) 70 69 70; D Clarke (Nir) 72 70 67; A Levy (Fra) 73 68 68; R Bland (Eng) 67 71 71; D Huizing (Ned) 69 71 69; T Fleetwood  (Eng) 72 70 67; M Madsen  (Den) 68 68 73; F Laporta (Ita) 68 72 69; D Lipsky (USA) 69 67 73; S Benson (Eng) 70 67 72; E Lipparelli (am) (Ita) 68 70 71;
210 S Kapur (Ind) 73 69 68; A Gee  (Eng) 72 70 68; E Goya (Arg) 71 70 69; A Quiros  (Esp) 70 72 68; A Wall (Eng) 71 70 69; C Lee (Sco) 70 72 68; S Walker (Eng) 70 72 68;
 211 M Siem  (Ger) 73 68 70; E Molinari  (Ita) 71 69 71; P Whiteford (Sco) 73 67 71; R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 73 63 75; J Heath  (Eng) 73 68 70; S Kim (Kor) 70 72 69; F Andersson Hed (Swe) 74 67 70;
212 D Im (USA) 71 71 70; J Hansen  (Den) 69 71 72; D Horsey (Eng) 71 69 72; L Bjerregaard  (Den) 74 68 70; R Kakko  (Fin) 69 72 71; W Ormsby (Aus) 74 68 70; R Rock (Eng) 69 70 73; A Saddier (Fra) 70 70 72
213 F Bergamaschi (Ita) 72 69 72; F Aguilar (Chi) 68 69 76; A Tadini (Ita) 72 69 72; T Lewis (Eng) 71 69 73; M Manassero (Ita) 73 69 71; D Drysdale (Sco) 73 69 71; K Broberg (Swe) 73 68 72;
214 G Maybin (Nir) 67 73 74; N Elvira  (Esp) 75 67 72; M Carlsson  (Swe) 72 70 72; G Molteni (Ita) 70 70 74; M Kieffer (Ger) 68 70 76; J Knutzon (USA) 70 70 74; B Rusch (am) (Sui) 73 66 75;
215 D McGrane (Irl) 71 71 73; J Campillo (Esp) 71 71 73; E De La Riva  (Esp) 72 70 73
216 G Porteous (Eng) 71 71 74; O Fisher  (Eng) 74 67 75; J Hahn (USA) 67 73 76
217 T Pieters  (Bel) 70 68 79




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