Stephen Gallacher may have enjoyed being an armchair viewer for once as Henrik Stenson became Open champion after slugging it out with Phil Mickelson at Troon and also gained huge satisfaction from seeing his 15-year-old son Jack chalk up a couple of recent successes.
But, at 3:05pm today in the last of the 32 first-round matches in the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield Links, Gallacher’s smile will probably light up the whole of East Lothian as he returns to competitive action following a two-month lay-off.
The wrist injury that led to that has forced the 41-year-old Scot to change his swing, something that can’t be easy when you’ve had the same action your entire life. But, being told his career could be threatened otherwise was a message he wasn’t about to ignore.
“My doctor said, ‘if you don’t change the way you load your left wrist, you’ll not be able to play’,” revealed Gallacher ahead of an intriguing clash with 19-year-old Italian Renato Paratore. “I’ve done everything by the book. The only thing I’m lacking is playing golf courses and it’s just going to take time on the golf course.
“Where I would normally have brought the ball back in my stance and trapped it a bit, I’ve now got to take a club up, grip down and swing it shallower so there is less impact. I’ve had to retrain the way my right arm works on the golf swing.”