Stephen Gallacher ends his long wait for European Tour title in Dubai
Scottish golfer wins only second title of long career
Sunday 03 February 2013
After a week of magic moments, Scotland's Stephen Gallacher still found time for another in Dubai today as he claimed only his second European Tour title in 20 years of trying.
Battling with the South African Richard Sterne for the coveted Omega Dubai Desert Classic trophy, the 38-year-old sank a 110-yard wedge from the rough at the 16th – amazingly, his fifth eagle of the tournament. With Sterne three-putting the hole just as he had the previous green, the gap between them was suddenly four shots and two closing pars saw Gallacher home by three with a 71 and tournament record-equalling 22-under-par total.
"It's taken a long time, but it's even sweeter now," the nephew of the former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher said after a win worth almost £263,000. His first victory came on home soil at St Andrews in the Dunhill Links Championship nine years ago and this was the 404th start of his career. The former Walker Cup amateur – he was part of the side that beat an American side containing Tiger Woods at Royal Porthcawl in 1995 – came into the tournament 111th in the world. But, just like last week's Qatar Masters champion Chris Wood, he should now qualify for the 64-man Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona later this month.
And if he can make it into the top 50 by the end of next month then a debut in the US Masters at Augusta beckons for a player who just over three years ago was back at the Tour qualifying school during a struggle with sarcoidosis, a viral infection that attacked his lungs and joints.
"It's the only major I've not played," he said of the Masters. "I sit at home with the kids and watch it every year, so it would be a dream to play there."
Latest in Sport
England vs India report: England expects as Bell, Ballance and Buttler make B-line for victory
Louis van Gaal says he is inheriting a 'broken' Manchester United squad
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Manchester City's #AskJesus Twitter takeover quickly descends into chaos as Premier League champions are trolled relentlessly
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
- 5 Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’
The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan