Back Gallacher to seal Ryder Cup spot with a win at Italian Open

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If Stephen Gallacher doesn’t finish in the top two of the Italian Open this week, his dream of being the only Scot to tee it up at the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles is effectively over.

All but one spot on the automatic selection list is filled for Paul McGinley’s European team, with Graeme McDowell occupying the final place.

The Northern Irishman isn’t playing on either tour this week though as he awaits the arrival of his first child.

As one of the first two past the post at Golf Club Torino, Gallacher would usurp the three-time Ryder Cup veteran, leaving McDowell fighting it out with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Luke Donald for the three remaining “wildcard” picks for the matchplay event.

Should Gallacher fail to make grasp the last automatic place, it’s unlikely McGinley will plump for a home-based rookie over the wealth of experience offered by the English trio, who have 16 Ryder Cup appearances between them.

The stakes are therefore high for the world number 34 and his form is good enough to ensure he seals his dream at the final hurdle.

At odds of 20/1 to win the Italian Open, the Scot is certainly well-fancied to make an impression in Torino, with his price making him the joint-second favourite for the title.

Given his added incentive for a win, taking the price available on the 39-year-old is the most sensible betting option in the field.

Absence from the tournament since 2010 shouldn’t impact much on Gallacher’s ability to win. His best performance here is a T10 in 2002 and he’s claimed two top-10 finishes in his last five starts.

As a saver, take the 25/1 on Edoardo Molinari to win.

Unlike his market-leading brother, Molinari’s form is taking a turn for the better, with a T7 at the recent Open Championship following up his solo second at the Irish Open.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.