Gallacher is the only man capable of moving into the automatic qualifying places in the final counting event, a top-two finish in Turin enough to dislodge former US Open champion Graeme McDowell from the team.
But despite carding two birdies in his first three holes, the 39-year-old eventually had to settle for a level-par round which left him five shots off the clubhouse lead shared by Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin and American John Hahn.
"I'm a bit disappointed because I threw away a couple of shots midway through my round but I'll hit a few balls this afternoon and iron a few things out," Gallacher said.
"It's okay for the first day and I am only one good score away from the top of the leaderboard.
"I didn't drive it too well and the rough is very penal. The greens are also getting firmer so if you get out of position it makes it very difficult.
"I know I have to finish first or second, that's not going to change, so I'm not putting any pressure on myself. Once you get out on the course you just try to birdie every hole. That's the easy part. It's when you finish you think about the Ryder Cup."
Starting from the 10th, Gallacher pulled his opening drive into the rough but produced a superb recovery shot to the back edge of the green and safely two-putted for par.
The Scot was then involved in a lengthy search for playing partner Edoardo Molinari's ball on the 11th, but maintained his concentration and after the ball was found with seconds of the five-minute time limit to spare, eventually fired in a superb approach which was an inch away from dropping into the hole for an eagle.
"It was hanging over the edge," added Gallacher, who also got up and down from left of the green on the par-five 12th, but dropped his first shot of the day on the 220-yard par-three 16th, missing from 10 feet for par after a poor chip from the back of the green.
A better chip ensured he avoided the same fate on the 17th and the Dubai Desert Classic champion then saw his recovery from a greenside bunker catch the edge of the hole and spin out.
Gallacher did not have to wait long to get back to two under with a birdie on the par-five first, but bogeyed three of the next four holes and was pleased to birdie the seventh and finish the day level par.
Hahn was in the second group out at 7:40am and began the day bemoaning another early start, but ended it delighted with a 67 featuring six birdies and one bogey.
"I've just had so many early starts recently," Hahn said. "I was up before 5am today but the one advantage is that you're always going to have smooth greens and it was nice to take advantage."