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
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in club shops - yet
Copa America 2015: When does it start, what channel is it on and who should I support?
Women's World Cup 2015: How England's semi-final success could do wonders for both sexes
Nigel Pearson: Leicester City sack manager despite Premier League survival
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United forward 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
- 1 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 2 Russian officials ban yoga because it's too much like a religious cult
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Ginger Pride festival to take place next summer, organisers say 'time of bullying gingers is over'
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS