Molinari secures Ryder Cup place

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Injured Ross McGowan pulled out of the Johnnie Walker Championship after an opening 77 at Gleneagles today - and cannot now qualify for Europe's Ryder Cup team.

McGowan has been battling a pinched nerve in his left shoulder for the past month, but hit only four pitch shots in practice yesterday and has now been advised to rest it.

The 28-year-old English player, clearly in agony at times during his round, needed a top-two finish to have any chance of gaining an automatic place on Colin Montgomerie's side.

His withdrawal guarantees Italian Francesco Molinari a debut at Celtic Manor in October.

McGowan would have had to win the final counting event to put Molinari in danger of missing out, but now the 27-year-old from Turin joins Lee Westwood, Rory McIlroy, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Ian Poulter and Ross Fisher in the line-up.

Two automatic spots and three wild cards are still to be determined.