STEPHEN Gallacher has resisted the temptation to send himself “stir crazy” by constantly checking Europe’s Ryder Cup points list in the countdown to September’s clash at Gleneagles.
It doesn’t mean to say he’s unaware of how he stands in the battle for spots on Paul McGinley’s team which, for the record, is just outside the automatic berths.
He knows, for instance, that over the past few weeks Martin Kaymer, on the back of his Players Championship and US Open successes, has joined Henrik Stenson, Victor Dubuisson, Jamie Donaldson, Thomas Bjorn, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose in virtually locking down spots in the 12-man side.
He’s also aware that Graeme McDowell’s successful French Open title defence last weekend has edged him within touching distance of an automatic pick, too.
All that matters to Gallacher, though, as the qualifying race heats up in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open is that his hopes of playing in a Ryder Cup on home soil are firmly in his own hands.
“I’ve not looked at any rankings or points list because, if I was to do that, I’d go stir crazy due to the fact there’s so many permutations,” said the 39-year-old in reference to four players coming off a European list and five from a World one.
“I think Paul McGinley will be happy with guys like Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell winning because they are major winners and big-time players.
“But it (qualifying or securing one of McGinley’s three wild cards) is totally down to me. It’s 100 per cent down to me and the only way I can do it is by playing well in big tournaments like this.”
Gallacher, the world No 37 and sitting tenth in this season’s Race to Dubai, heads a 17-strong home contingent at Royal Aberdeen, though that could be reduced this morning when Richie Ramsay makes a final decision on his neck and shoulder injury.
“It’s a nightmare,” joked Gallacher in reply to being asked about the additional pressure he’s under at the moment as a genuine Ryder Cup contender.
“I enjoy my golf anyway,” he added, his tone turning more serious. “The hardest thing for me just now is not to try too hard. I’ve just got to concentrate on my own game, get my routine sorted and get my gameplan sorted and then just stick with that.”