Sam Torrance is set to have four Scots in his Great Britain & Ireland team for next week’s Seve Trophy after Stephen Gallacher, Paul Lawrie, Marc Warren and Scott Jamieson all put themselves in a position to benefit from some of Europe’s big guns sitting out the Ryder Cup warm-up event in Paris.
The ten-man side to take on Continental Europe at St Nom La Breteche will be finalised tomorrow – eligible players have until 5pm to commit to the event in honour of Seve Ballesteros – and it will almost certainly have a strong Scottish flavour.
Qualification is though two separate tables, with five coming from the world rankings and five more from the Race to Dubai. It seems likely, though, that none of the top five GB&I players in the global standings – Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, Luke Donald or Lee Westwood – will be taking up their spots.
The same goes for sixth-placed Ian Poulter, which would mean that the next five eligible players on the list are Jamie Donaldson, David Lynn, Gallacher, Chris Wood and Lawrie.
It’s also looking good for Warren and Jamieson, who played in the winning GB&I team under Paul McGinley two years ago, on the Race to Dubai standings, which would mean Torrance having almost half his team made up of fellow countrymen as he locks horns with Continental European captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
Martin Laird is above both Gallacher and Lawrie on the world rankings but the three-times PGA Tour winner isn’t a European Tour member at the moment, so is ineligible.
Laird, who is still to decide if he’ll partner Gallacher in the World Cup later in the year, won’t start picking up Ryder Cup points until January and now knows where that race will end. That follows confirmation yesterday that the final qualifying event for McGinley’s team at Gleneagles will be the Italian Open at the end of August next year, with the Irishman announcing his three wildcards on 1 September.
Meanwhile, Julien Quesne made five birdies on the back nine to win this year’s Italian Open by one stroke. It was the second European Tour victory of his career.
The 33-year-old Frenchman began the day four shots off the lead and looked out of contention when he double-bogeyed the second hole. But he got one shot back on the fourth, another at the sixth and then stormed home in 31 for a 5-under 67 at the Circolo Golf Torino.
Quesne finished the tournament at 12-under 276, one stroke ahead of David Higgins of Ireland and Steve Webster of England. His only other win came at the 2012 Open de Andalucia Costa del Sol, although this was his seventh top-10 finish of the season.
Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium was among four players who tied for fourth at 10-under, while local favourite Francesco Molinari finished five strokes behind Quesne on his home course.
On the European Seniors Tour, Peter Fowler claimed his first victory for more than two years with a remarkable turnaround in the French Riviera Masters, coming from four shots back at the start of the final round to win by three strokes at Terre Blanche. The Australian took little time in overturning Andrew Oldcorn’s overnight advantage, catching the Scot by the sixth hole after Oldcorn started with three bogeys in his opening five holes.