European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley gave some honest insight into the mind of Stephen Gallacher at Gleneagles yesterday.
Gallacher is playing in his first Ryder Cup this week, making the team as one of Irishman McGinley’s wildcard picks having just missed out on an automatic spot by a shot at the Italian Open.
The 39-year-old this week will join fellow Bathgate Golf Club stars Bernard Gallacher, Stephen’s uncle, and Eric Brown in making a European Ryder Cup team.
Playing his last event before Gleneagles last week at the Wales Open, Stephen Gallacher opened with a seven-over-par 78 and missed the cut.
"He’s had a pretty tough time in that regard, in terms of getting his head straight – but he was certainly very buoyant." - McGinely on Stephen Gallacher
The 39-year-old also sadly lost his grandmother, Millie, who he was very close to. McGinley said it was no surprise the Scot was possibly a little out of sorts in the lead up to the biggest week of his life.
“He came up and played a few practice rounds in his weeks off, but his mind is all over the place.
“Being a rookie he didn’t really understand the real procedures of a Ryder Cup and tickets and how many tickets he got and who has access and who didn’t. So all of those things are going round in his head,” explained McGinley.
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He added: “The two weeks he had off he was getting his head around (everything), and then in the middle of it all his grandmother died, who he was pretty close to. He’s had a pretty tough time in that regard, in terms of getting his head straight – but he was certainly very buoyant.”
Stephen Gallacher has his 'feet under the table' at Ryder Cup
McGinley said he had dinner with Gallacher last week in Wales and was pleased to see him bounce back from his 78 to post a “good second round” of one-under-par.
He said the Scot, who won this year’s Dubai Desert Classic for the second year in a row, arrived at Gleneagles yesterday and quickly got his “feet under the table nicely”.
He added: “He’ll be a good addition to our team.”
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It is believed Gallacher may be teaming up with fellow rookie Jamie Donaldson – pairing up rookies is something that is not uncommon at a Ryder Cup - though McGinley stopped short of giving away any secrets, as expected.
“I’ve got a pretty good idea of where we’re going to go on Friday,” he said.
“We are into the final tailoring of preparation for the matches in terms of practice rounds and a little bit more communication with the players, getting feedback, where they are actually at now.”