Richie Ramsay would hate to be the man to deny fellow Scot Stephen Gallacher a place in the Ryder Cup, but admits he will have to look after his own interests first.
Gallacher needs to finish in the top two in the Italian Open to dislodge Graeme McDowell from the final automatic qualifying place in Paul McGinley’s European team for Gleneagles.
The 39-year-old kept his hopes alive with a 69 yesterday to head into the final round in Turin in sixth place, four shots behind Ramsay in second and six behind leader Hennie Otto.
Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger lies third on 13 under after following consecutive rounds of 66 with a 71, with English duo Lee Slattery and Ross Fisher sharing fourth on 11 under.
“I would hate to be the person to deny him a place on the Ryder Cup but I know if it comes down to it, he plays to win and that’s the same attitude I have to have,” said Ramsay, who holed from 40 feet for birdie on the 18th to complete a flawless 66.
“Stevie is a fantastic player as he has shown to get into contention. He will perform on Sunday and I wish him the best in getting (the Ryder Cup place) but I have to accomplish my job of getting into the mix and picking up win number three.”
Ramsay, who won the South African Open in 2010 and European Masters in 2012, added: “It’s a tough one because I know Stevie well and am down at Kingsfield a fair bit where he practises, which is about a mile from his house.
“It’s a big, big ask for him but he has shown how good a player he is and if he did not qualify automatically he would be an asset to the team, not only because of his ball-striking but his attitude as well.”
Gallacher has said all week he just wanted to be in with a chance today and achieved that thanks to a round containing four birdies and one bogey.
“It keeps me in touching distance,” he said. “This is the only time in my career that I would be happy not to win. Second will do me fine on Sunday.”