9am Round-Up: Bernard Gallacher hails ‘clever move’ by US Ryder Cup captain

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Bernard Gallacher believes Davis Love III has made a “clever move” by appointing Tiger Woods as one of his vice captains for the Ryder Cup at Hazeltine in September.

The US skipper insisted last week that he’d not yet given up on Woods, still recovering from his third back surgery in 19 months, getting into his team in a playing capacity.

But, just in case that doesn’t happen, Love has already included the 14-time major winner in his backroom team for the biennial clash.

“A lot of the players look up to Tiger so to have him walking around the course with you, it must make you think you are quite important,” said Gallacher in an interview with 7Days in the United Arab Emirates.

“I think that was tactically a clever move. Tiger just being there is helping and it takes the sting out of the story of him not making it as a player.”

Gallacher, who is in Dubai along with Tony Jackin for the Titans Cup taking place this week at The Els Club, has listened to the likes of Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler both talk up the Ryder Cup in recent weeks.

But the winning captain at Oak Hill warned that the home team need to be careful not to put themselves under pressure and also believes Darren Clarke is set to be another excellent European captain.

“Jordan Spieth has said the highlight of his year would be to win the Ryder Cup. Not retain the Masters but win the Ryder Cup. That shows how serious they are taking it,” added Gallacher.

“But they might be under too much pressure and become to anxious. They might end up trying too hard and that will not help their golf.”

Turning to Clarke, he continued: “Darren is the type of guy who is on the golf course with his arm around your shoulder and the players will respond to that.

“The EurAsia Cup looked a tough assignment in Malaysia but I think a lot of the success was down to Darren. They responded to his leadership and I think Europe will have that never-say-die spirit.”

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Helped by two eagles, Cawder’s Calum Fyfe stormed into the last 16 in the South African Amateur Championship at George Golf Club today.

The 18-year-old beat Alistair Snowdon from Rondebosch Golf Club 5&4 after getting off to a first start.

Fyfe was four up after five then five up after eight before finishing off the match with eagles at the 11th and 14th.

Nairn’s Sandy Scott was all square after nine in his second-round match against Albert Venter (Centurion Golf Club).

The third Scot to make it into the last 32, Kirkhill’s Craig Ross, was three up after 13 on Port Elizabeth’s Fezekile Kana.

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Two Scots - Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest and Jack McDonald from Kilmarnock (Barassie) - have been named in Europe’s side for the Bonallack Trophy later this month.

The pair were both in the Great Britain & Ireland team that thumped the United States in last year’s Walker Cup at Royal Lytham.

Joining them on this occasion are a mix of players from the other Home Unions, including Irish star Jack Hume, as well as Continental Europe.

The match against Asia is being held at Vidago Palace in Portugal on 16-18 March.

Before then, Forrest and McDonald set out today along with four compatriots in the Spanish Amateur Championship in Seville.

Forrest, Jack McDonald, Ewen Ferguson and Bob MacIntyre - the quartet on duty in last week’s European Nations Cup at Sotogrande - have been joined by Connor Syme and Liam Johnston.

European Team for Bonallack Trophy: Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Esp), Mario Galiano (Esp), Bradley Moore (Eng), Ashton Turner (Eng), Jack McDonald (Sco), Grant Forrest (Sco), Luca Cianchetti (Ita), Stefano Mazzoli (Ita), David Boote (Wal), Jack Hume (Ire), Jeroen Krietemeijer (Ned), Robin Petersson (Swe).

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Pollok’s James Hendricks won the latest CT Sports Academy Winter Series event at Ayr Belleisle.

Helped by six birdies, he posted a three-under-par 69 to pip Turnhouse-attached Challenge Tour player Duncan Stewart by a shot.

Former PGA EuroPro Tour No 1 Paul McKechnie (Braid Hills Golf Centre) and St Andrews amateur Ben Kinsley shared third on 71.

The next event is on the Torrance Course at Fairmont St Andrews on 15 March.

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Blairgowrie amateur Tom McLevy carded a two-overppar 73 to top the individual standings in a Midland Alliance event on the Medal Course at Monifieth Links.