Gallacher triumphs in the desert
Last updated: 3rd February 2013
Scot Stephen Gallacher eagled the par-four 16th on his way to a three-shot win at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday.
After a see-saw battle with South African Richard Sterne, Gallacher put the result beyond question by holing a 110-yard wedge from the rough at the 16th for an eagle - his fifth of the week.
It gave him a three-shot lead heading into the final two holes, which he promptly parred to card a one-under-par 71 and finish with a tournament record-equalling 22 under par total.
Gallacher, the 38-year-old nephew of ex-Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher, also holed out with a seven-iron from 175 yards in his opening 63 and closed his third-round 62 - the lowest round of his long Tour career - by finding the cup with a 40-yard bunker shot.
It's his first victory since the 2004 Dunhill Links, played on his home soil at St Andrews.
"I'm obviously delighted," said Gallacher. "It's taken a long time but it's sweeter now. I've holed four shots this week, but you've got to do that these days to win - you need that little bit of magic."
Sterne closed with a 71 to secure second place on 19 under, while Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen tied for third two shots back.
England's Lee Westwood was joint fourth a shot further back alongside Australian Marcus Fraser. It could have been better for Westwood, but he hit his second shot into the water on the par-five last and had to settle for a bogey.
The victory lifts Gallacher into the world's top 60, which should see him qualify for the 64-man Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona later this month.
Should he be able to move into the top 50, he will earn a place in the Masters field at Augusta in April.
"It's the only major I've never played," he said. "I sit and watch it in the house with the kids every year and obviously it would be a dream to play there."
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