Poor start for Ryder Cup wildcard Gallacher

Stephen Gallacher's Ryder Cup preparations looked set to come to an early end as he headed for a missed cut in the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

Poor start for Ryder Cup wildcard Gallacher

Stephen Gallacher's Ryder Cup preparations looked set to come to an early end as he headed for a missed cut in the ISPS Handa Wales Open at Celtic Manor.

Gallacher has 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 wildcards.

The rust showed as Gallacher struggled to an opening 78 on Thursday with seven bogeys and no birdies, and another bogey on his second hole on Friday left the 39-year-old eight over par, seven shots outside the projected cut and 133rd in the 142-strong field.

At the other end of the leaderboard, The Netherlands' Joost Luiten had birdied his opening hole to move two shots clear of the field on seven under par, the 28-year-old having carded an opening 65.

Luiten, who was also considered as a Ryder Cup wild card before McGinley opted for Gallacher, Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, finished fifth in the defence of his KLM Open title at Kennemer Golf Club last week.

Westwood was among the later starters after a first round of 73, while team-mate Thomas Bjorn - playing alongside Gallacher - had improved to one under with birdies on the 11th and 14th and a bogey on the 12th.

Luiten picked up another birdie on the short par-four 15th and at eight under par was three ahead of former champion Thongchai Jaidee, Scotland's Andrew McArthur and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Jaidee had carded four birdies and a double bogey in eight holes, while McArthur had opened his round with three straight pars and Colsaerts was among the afternoon starters.

Gallacher had finally recorded his first birdie of the week on the par-five 18th - a hole he three-putted for par on Thursday - to get back to seven over.

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