Gallacher sets his sights on ‘Fifth Major’ at Castle Stuart

6/6/2013 4:43:00 PM
Stephen Gallacher at a Media Day for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (Kenny Smith) ()
Stephen Gallacher at a Media Day for the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open (Kenny Smith) ()
Stephen Gallacher delivered a master class of how to cope with the eccentricities of links golf for a gaggle of Scottish golf writers at Castle Stuart this week – and trained his sights on repeating his repertoire for real next month.

The 38 year old left the watching media group open-mouthed with his mastery of the varied range of shots which helped him win the 2004 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, then turned his attention to the business in hand, namely trying to win the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open from July 11-14.

Gallacher, who captured a second European Tour title in this year’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic, can’t wait to return to Castle Stuart, where he feels ‘”an inch taller” simply from playing in front of his home fans over the superb Inverness course.

He said: “This is probably the fifth major for Scottish players. Along with the BMW PGA Championship it is the one we all want to win in front of your own fans in your home country.”

Gallacher, who attended an official pre-tournament Media Day in glorious sunny weather on the Moray Firth coastline, is bullish about his prospects, and also those of his fellow Scots in the high quality field which will contain Major Champions of the quality of Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie.

It is 14 year since Colin Montgomerie became the last Scot to annex the title at Loch Lomond, but Gallacher added: “Scottish golf in general definitely has real strength at the moment. On the other side of the ‘pond’ we’ve seen Martin Laird win in Texas while Scott Jamieson and I have both also won this season on The European Tour.

“On top of that, we had Paul Lawrie having a year like last year, Peter Whiteford is knocking on the door and Chris Doak has qualified for the US Open. Of course, Marc Warren only lost a play-off in the BMW PGA Championship and he will be looking forward to coming here, where he came close last year.”

The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open completes its current three-year stint at Castle Stuart before moving on to Royal Aberdeen in 2014, but Gallacher has enjoyed the Highland experience over the past three seasons.

“This is a definite modern links” he noted. “I was lucky enough to have played here just before it opened and the difference is unbelievable in the shape and definition. It is only going to get better and better.”

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