Monday, 27 January 2014
Stephen Gallacher  (EuropeanTour)
Stephen Gallacher (EuropeanTour)
Stephen Gallacher will this week attempt to create history by becoming the first player to successfully defend the Omega Dubai Desert Classic title.

Thanks chiefly to scores of 63 and 62 in the first and third rounds respectively, Gallacher took the title 12 months ago by three shots from South African Richard Sterne to earn his second victory on The European Tour.

As a reward for his exploits, Gallacher has been paired with the American duo of Tiger Woods and Fred Couples in the ‘Champions Challenge’, which gets the 25th anniversary celebrations under way on Tuesday.   

Gallacher, who finished in a tie for eighth place in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, said: “I’m really looking forward to the tournament and also the Champions Challenge, because playing with Tiger is always a privilege and I’ve never played with Fred Couples before. It’s a great idea to get all the past winners together for the 25th anniversary celebrations – everything they do in Dubai is classy.

“I’ve got a good record in the tournament, mainly because the course suits my eye. I come over a fair bit on holiday, so I know the place well and I always feel comfortable. I’m sure I’ll be drawing on the good thoughts and the good memories from last year when I get back.

“I had a 63 on the first day and a 62 in the third round, so any time you do that you’re going to have a pretty good chance of winning. Something just clicked that week, and everything seemed to go my way.       

The star-studded field also includes World Number Three Henrik Stenson, World Number Seven Rory McIlroy and three-time winner Ernie Els.
 

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1GALLACHER, StephenSCO18-16
2GRILLO, EmilianoARG18-15
T3WATTEL, RomainFRA18-14
T3KOEPKA, BrooksUSA18-14
T5ILONEN, MikkoFIN18-13
T5ROCK, RobertENG18-13

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