Gallacher win hints at glorious future

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The Independent Online

Before Sunday evening here at the home of golf, Stephen Gallacher's best moment in golf had come when he was part of the winning Walker Cup team in 1995. That September nine years ago was good to the Gallacher family as his uncle, Bernard, captained Europe to victory in the Ryder Cup at Oak Hill.

Bernard Gallacher made a lasting contribution to the game as a three-time captain and the long-time professional at Wentworth. His nephew has had to wait nine years for his first professional victory. But beating Graeme McDowell at the first extra hole at the Old Course brought a cheque for £445,000 and the Dunhill Links title. "It's definitely one of the titles you want to win on the European Tour," Gallacher said. "It's been frustrating but a lot of guys have to wait until their late 30s or 40s for a win. You can't let it get to you."

Gallacher is not 30 until next month and he headed a leaderboard that speaks volumes for the potential of British golf. Five of the top six - Ernie Els finished seventh and Vijay Singh, the world No 1, lower down still - were under 30.

Gallacher jumped 89 places on the world rankings to 68th and now aims to push on to the top 50. McDowell, an Ulsterman, has his heart set on the Ryder Cup at the K Club in two years' time. Ian Poulter wants to be known for more than just his trousers, while David Howell is aiming to qualify for the Masters for the first time. Luke Donald is playing in the Greater Greensboro Classic this week in an attempt to make the top 30 on the US money list.