600 up: Linlithgow-based golf ace Stephen Gallacher reaches European Tour milestone in Dubai
Linlithgow-based golf ace Stephen Gallacher is making his 600th European Tour appearance at this week’s Golf In Dubai Championship.
Gallacher, 47, has recorded four European Tour wins, which started with the prestigious Dunhill Links Championship – one of the richest tournaments in Europe – in 2004, with two of the four rounds at St Andrews.
Another career highlight was being part of Europe’s winning Ryder Cup team at Gleneagles in 2014.
“I always wanted to be a golfer,” Gallacher told The European Tour. “I always wanted to be a pro and follow in my uncle’s footsteps.
"My golf club had two massive pictures up of Eric Brown who was Ryder Cup captain of my uncle.
"So I always wanted to play Ryder Cup. To reach your goal, it took me a few years to get over that.
"It took a long time for my first win to come. I think it was 200 events I’d played in before it first came.
"But to win the Dunhill at the home of golf in front of your home fans, in front of my family, I wouldn’t have taken one earlier. I was delighted when it came along.
"To sit on the Swilken Bridge with the trophy I think for any Scotsman is a dream come true.”
Gallacher waited a full nine years for his second Tour win, at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic in 2013.
"Your first win is the best,” he added. “Your second win is probably more special because you know you can do it again, the catalyst for me for having a push for the Ryder Cup.
"To win gave me the belief that I could fulfil my dream of playing Ryder Cup.”
Gallacher, who successfully defended his Dubai title in 2014, also won the Hero Indian Open five years later.
He has felt fortunate to be playing golf – something he loves – for a living and give back to the community.
"I’ve started a foundation since 2012,” added the man who is married to Helen and the couple have two kids, Jack and Ellie.
“I think giving back is a massive part of the game as well.
"I’m blessed to have done a job that I don’t really call a job. It’s more a passion and something I love.
"To be able to give back, try and help people coming through and give them the same enjoyment I’ve had out the game, that would be me.”