Gallacher Just As Excited Teeing-Up In Hero Desert Classic 23-Years After Making His Debut

… Dubai, UAE

Stephen Gallacher boasts he’s just as excited returning to Dubai as he was twenty-three years in making his debut in the Hero Dubai Desert Classic.

Gallacher, 48, is contesting a 625th Tour event this week thanks to a sponsor’s invitation and after losing full Tour status at the close of the 2022 season.

He said: “It was nice to receive the invitation because it’s been a tournament dear to my heart, so delighted to be here.

“I was working for SKY at the Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi when the confirmation came through that I would be playing this week.  This is a fabulous event and it’s been nice already catching-up with everyone, and a good feeling about the tournament.”

Stephen Gallacher wins the 2013 Dubai Desert Classic

Gallacher was aged 25 when he first contested the 2002 event securing a share of fourth for his then best finish in 35 DP World Tour starts.

In 2013, Gallacher joined fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie as Scottish-born winners of the event with victory at the 25th anniversary of the tournament, and a year later Gallacher became the first, and in still 34 years, and only player to be handed the gleaming Arabian coffee pot trophy back-to-back.

Images of Gallacher, with his parents and own family, including his son Jack who continues to caddy for his father, adorn the ‘Wall of Champions’ in the Emirates clubhouse.

However, Gallacher’s lowly finish on last year’s DP World Tour means an uncertain playing schedule for the now 49-year-old, and hence the need to seek invitations to compete on the main Tour.

It’s a family affair when Stephen Gallacher became the first and still only repeat winner of the 2014 Dubai Desert Classic

He said: “The great thing is that while I have always loved coming here to Dubai, so do the family and it was extra special they were all here when I won in ’93 and ’94.

“Each time I come here, we’ll go into the clubhouse and admire the photographs on the wall, as it brings back so many fond memories. It’s just a special place for all in the family.

“And the club has on display clubs donated by the players that they used in winning, so I’ve got two clubs on display, and that only adds to the great memories I carry.

“There’s always been a great familiarity being here and that’s what I have liked so much in coming back year after year.

“The tournament also always attracts a great field while the golf course is always in great shape”.

The uncertainty of a 2023 season playing schedule means that Gallacher’s next event after this week will be the February 23rd commencing Hero Indian Open that, due to Covid-related lockdown measures, has not been played since 2019.

The win was the last of Gallacher’s fourth DP World victories and that much more special Jack on the bag.

Gallacher said: “Even though I’m not all that sure where I will be playing this year, the excitement heading into a New Year is no different, as I’m looking forward to getting out there as I ever was”, he said.

“I didn’t have the juices flowing at the time of a new season, I would not be out here.

“The only difference is the uncertainty where I will be playing, so I will be relying upon invitations however I should get into the Dunhill Links that I also won, so apart from playing a few Challenge Tour events and also being able to tee-up in qualifying for the US Open”.

And while heading into the uncertainty of a New Year, Gallacher was delighted to learn fellow Scot and long-time good friend David Drysdale secured his Asian Tour card.

He said: “It’s a fantastic result for Double D and Vicky, so delighted for the both of them.  They’re a great couple and it was just the shot in the arm he needed.

“They went out to Asia on a mission and it’s brilliant, awesome they succeeded.”

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