STEPHEN Gallacher’s Ryder Cup hopes have been dented after he missed the cut in the US PGA Championship as most of the players around him in the standings made it to the weekend at Valhalla.
The Lothians man, lying 11th in the table heading into the season’s final major, couldn’t muster a single birdie in a second-round 77.
On five-over, it left him four shots outside the cut mark, which Lee Westwood, Joost Luiten, Jamie Donaldson, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Francesco Molinari all finished inside.
“I played brilliantly yesterday but had a bad front nine today and never hit a shot for some reason,” admitted Gallacher.
“It’s been happening to recently - I just can’t seem to put four rounds together at the moment.”
The tone was set when he bogeyed the par-5 tenth - his first - despite having just 80 yards for his third from the middle of the fairway.
“I also bogeyed the next by three-putting then hit a sand wedge into the water at the 13th so it wasn’t the best of starts, especially with the rain coming down” added the 39-year-old.
After three-putting for another bogey at the 17th, the Lothians man then found water again at the next to turn in 41.
“It was a big ask after that because I knew from watching on the telly earlier in the day that it was playing long,” he said.
“My putting is poor at the moment. It was a problem last week and it’s been the same here. If I’d putted half decent on Thursday I could have shot 66.”
Gallacher will now head to North Carolina for next week’s Wyndham Championship, having received an invitation for the PGA Tour event.
“I’ve got 15 tournaments to look forward to after that,” insisted Gallacher, referring to the fact that while Gleneagles is definitely a goal there are others to be achieved between now and the end of the season.
Of those other Ryder Cup hopefuls, Westwood and Luiten are sitting joint-ninth on five-under with Donaldson next on three-under.
After his bright start, Poulter is back to one-under; Molinari and Donald are level-par and McDowell just made it on one-over.
It looks like the end Miguel Angel Jimenez’s dream of becoming Europe’s oldest Ryder Cup player after he joined Gallacher in making an early exit.
The Spaniard is not playing in any more of the qualifying events before the automatic spots are decided at the end of the month, with Paul McGinley then announcing his wild cards on September 2.