Gallacher: Rory could be key

Three-time Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher believes Rory McIlroy and Victor Dubuisson could help swing a close-fought match at Gleneagles in Europe's favour.

McIlroy has returned to form after struggling last season, while Frenchman Dubuisson has burst onto the scene after reaching the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.

Gallacher is convinced the pair will be major players when Europe attempt to defend their title against USA in September, with McIlroy impressing in the first round of the Honda Classic, where he carded a 63.

"It was a very impressive score and it's a very tough course, the PGA National at Palm Beach Gardens (in Florida)," he told Sky Sports News.

"There is the Bear Trap which we know all about but there is water at almost every hole, so you don't hit any bad shots when you hit a 63.

"Rory was anxious to make amends for last year because that was the tournament where he walked off the course and he was at a very low point in his golf last year.

"I am pleased to say his golf looks good and it looks to be the old Rory that we know, which is good news.

"It's not going to be long before he wins another major."

As for Dubuisson, Gallacher is not surprised he has started so well on the professional circuit having impressed during his time as an amateur.

The 23-year-old won the Turkish Airlines Open last November and pulled off some fantastic recovery shots to get out of the rough during last weekend's Match Play event in Arizona.

Seriously good

"It was great. The scalps he claimed - Graham McDowall, Bubba Watson, Peter Hansen and matchplay specialist Ernie Els in the semi-finals - Victor is a seriously good player," added Gallacher.

"If you look at his amateur record, he has won the European Amateur Championship, he has won in Mexico.

"But he was the No 1 amateur in the world for two months, so we shouldn't really be surprised he is breaking through.

"He is going to play a big part in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, I am sure of that."

Paul McGinley will captain Europe's Ryder Cup team in Scotland later in the year and Gallacher feels he will be happy with how his players are shaping up.

"There are a few places up for grabs but not many. He has the players in there in exactly the position he would want them," he said.

"He can look forward confidently to a good match.

"It's not a foregone conclusion we are going to win, despite the fact we have won seven of the last nine Ryder Cups and we are at home. It is still going to be tough.

"It's going to be a great match and we could possibly just nick it."

Gallacher was speaking ahead of the Scottish Golf Awards, where he will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.