Ryder Cup is a memory to cherish for Stephen Gallacher

Pic JANE BARLOW (courtesy The Scotsman)
Pic JANE BARLOW (courtesy The Scotsman)

Participating in the Ryder Cup was everything - and more- Linlithgow-based golfer Stephen Gallacher had hoped it would be.

Although the Kingsfield Golf Centre standard-bearer failed to take a point from his two matches, the experience of teeing up at Gleneagles - a course where he has done well in the past - is something he will cherish for ever.

But with the return match atHazeltine, Minnesota, in two years, time, he is determined to make the team for a second time.

Matched with Ian Poulter in the first session on Friday, they were heavily defeated by Jordan Spieth and Patrick Reed.

Gallacher sat out the Friday afternoon and both Saturday sessions before coming up against they mighty Phil Mickelson in Sunday’s singles.

With the Europeans 10-6 up, it was clear that Gallacher had a battle on his hands but he gave nearly as good as he got - a birdie on the first was greeted with a huge ovation from the massed crowds.

However, the former Open and Masters champion pulled ahead to go three up before being hauled back to all square. Two late birdies by Mickelson secured a point for the Yanks - but the writing was on the wall as the Europeans cruised to a 16.5-11.5 victory.

Said Gallacher: ‘‘I played hard and so did Phil.

‘‘It was nip and tuck. Iwas four under and he was six under at the end.

‘‘I’m happy with how I played and proud to be part of the team.’’

He added: ‘‘It was a great thrill to be there as a Scot on the first tee in the last day of the Ryder Cup and I gave it my best shot against one of the world’s best players.’’

Gallacher was also cheered by Mickelson’ssummation of his character: ‘‘a class act- a quality guy.’’