Stephen Gallacher may have refused to play at Augusta National until he was officially invited to the Masters, but he definitely made the most of his debut, finishing in a tie for 34th place.
It was a case of what could have been for the Scot as solid opening rounds of 71 and 72 gave him a chance going into the weekend. A disappointing 81 on Saturday, that included three double-bogeys on the spin, put paid to any hopes of contending on the final day.
“I think when you’ve watched on TV for that long, you kind of know where you want to hit it. It’s just a case of actually doing it is the key." - Stephen Gallacher
“I played good all week,” he said. “Just a slight mishap on Saturday, but I felt as though I played good all week.”
“I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I was going to be. Just kind of enjoying it and kind of going with the flow.
“I think when you’ve watched on TV for that long, you kind of know where you want to hit it. It’s just a case of actually doing it is the key. The wind swirls a bit when it gets a bit warm, and especially in the bottom corner. It is tricky out there. I don’t know if that’s just the more you play, the more you sort of wait for the wind to go past or whatnot.
“I’ve loved it. It’s been brilliant to play. Three rounds under 72 is not bad for your first experience.”
Gallacher leaned on experienced players
Gallacher had turned to fellow Scot and 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle for advice, and Lyle is happy to help as much as he can.
He said: “You can relay a few little things, but you can’t do everything just in one practice round together.
“Just one week here, it's a lot of information to feed into that brain of his and he'll go home and maybe digest it. Or if he comes back next year, he’ll be better prepared for it.”
For Lyle, it was a good week as he made the cut for the second year in a row as he ended the tournament with a score of nine-over-par, enough to finish in a tie for 44th place.