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."
elephant appealThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Mikel Arteta queries scheduling of Arsenal's crucial showdown with Manchester City
Transfer news: Manchester United step up chase for Internazionale midfielder Fredy Guarin - reports
Ashes 2013/14 third Test: Is Waca on the way out?
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white