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Stephen Gallacher relaxed after failing to make the cut in last tournament before Ryder Cup

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Stephen Gallacher must finish first or second at the Open d'Italia to gain automatic selection for next month's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Stephen Gallacher must finish first or second at the Open d'Italia to gain automatic selection for next month's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Getty Images

Stephen Gallacher must finish first or second at the Open d'Italia to gain automatic selection for next month's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Photo: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Stephen Gallacher headed home in relaxed mood on Friday despite seeing his Ryder Cup preparations cut short with a missed cut in the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

Gallacher had not played competitively since coming agonisingly close to sealing an automatic place on the European team for Gleneagles before being named as one of captain Paul McGinley's three wild cards.

The rust showed as he struggled to an opening 78 on Thursday with seven bogeys and no birdies, and a second round of 70 was not enough to avoid an early exit.

"Yesterday was quite tough," Gallacher admitted after a round containing two birdies - both on par fives - and one bogey. "It was tough to get going and get my head around it but today was a lot better. I was maybe trying a wee bit too hard yesterday and still thinking about next week.

"Today I got into my routines better and stuck to that. Nothing could get into my head apart from that. It was back to normal and if I holed a few putts I would have shot four or five under.

"I feel good, I'm physically and mentally good so I am really looking forward to next week. I'll get up the road this afternoon and relax this weekend and maybe play nine holes with Thomas (Bjorn) on Monday morning."

Team-mate Bjorn, who played alongside Gallacher at Celtic Manor, added a 69 to his opening 71 to lie two under par, six shots off the clubhouse lead held by Holland's Joost Luiten.

Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee was a shot off the pace following a 67 with Sweden's Patrik Sjoland on six under after also shooting 67.

Luiten was considered for a wild card after finishing 15th in the points standings, one place above Lee Westwood who edged out Luke Donald for the final pick.

The 28-year-old finished fourth in the Italian Open and fifth in the defence of his KLM Open title last week and said: "If it had come a couple of weeks earlier I would have been right in there for a pick but I knew I had not played well enough for the last two and a half months of the qualifying."

PA Media