Linlithgow-based golfer, Stephen Gallacher is in the running for a home-ground Ryder cup placing at Gleneagles this year after a remarkable comeback success at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
In February 2013, Gallacher gained his second victory on the European Tour, when he won the Desert Classic by three strokes.
He held the lead going into the final round after he shot his best career round of 62 in the third round. Gallacher clinched victory with an eagle on the 16th hole.
This year, Gallacher defended his title with a one stroke victory at the 2014 competition for his third European Tour victory. He is the first golfer to ever successfully defend the title. When you consider some of the championship names who have played that course; Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood, Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros then that’s pretty impressive for our own Stevie G.
One of the most important elements for any golfer hoping to make the Ryder Cup is the world golf rankings - and Stevie has just launched himself straight into 37th place after his Dubai win. His European Tour’s Ryder Cup points listing now sees him sitting in the pole ninth and final automatic qualifying position.
Gallacher’s repeat victory has given the 39-year-old a very real fighting chance to make Paul McGinley’s European side, and in addition some financially lucrative matches in the USA, including the Masters series.
However, caution has been urged by his friend and colleague, Paul Lawrie, who said: “He has a huge opportunity to get in the team, but he knows to do that he still has to play some unbelievable golf to get in, no matter how good the events he’s now playing in.
“I watched the last round at Dubai on Sunday, and like everyone else I thought he had blown it. Four over at the start was not what he was looking for, but to show the character to come back and win shows you how good he is playing.
I don’t think there’s anything bigger than getting in a Ryder Cup team in your own country. Ideally, you’d love a Scotsman in the team, the crowd would want it and right now, he is by far our best bet.”
Speaking exclusively to the Journal and Gazette this week, Stephen said: “To defend the title and win the event for the second year in a row was an amazing achievement and I was especially proud to do this on the 25th anniversary of what is one of the best events on the Tour. I knew that it would be a tough event this year and I was delighted with the way I played all week.
The win moves me into the world’s top 50 for the first time and I hope that it will be the platform for even more success this season.”