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Stephen Gallacher qualifies for US Masters

Stephen Gallacher has qualified for the US Masters. Picture: Getty

Stephen Gallacher has qualified for the US Masters. Picture: Getty

  • by MARTIN DEMPSTER
 

SCOTLAND’S Stephen Gallacher has secured his US Masters debut next week after comfortably staying inside the world’s top 50 to make the second and final cut-off for invitations.

The 39-year-old moved up one spot to 37th in the latest global rankings to earn a place at Augusta National for the first time. He will be joined by Sandy Lyle, the 1988 winner.

“It’s pretty much a dream come true,” said Gallacher of an appearance that will complete his set of playing in all four of golf’s majors.

“I’ve watched all the greats win there. As a kid you were allowed to stay up late and watch it on the telly.”

Gallacher teed up the opportunity in February by becoming the first player to retain the Dubai Desert Classic title in the event’s 25-year history.

He then virtually guaranteed his spot with a top-six finish in the opening major of the 2014 campaign, the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Miami last month.

Gallacher said: “I’ve been playing a long time and it’s the only major I haven’t played in.

“I’ve had invites in the past but I turned them down because I only wanted to play it in the tournament.

“I’ll just try to prepare as normal. It’s one of the courses where you have to be so precise. I’ll just set out a game plan and hopefully stick to it.”

Gallacher, who is heading out to Georgia later this week, has already arranged a practice round with Lyle, who famously claimed the Green Jacket by hitting a superb bunker shot at the 18th in his final round 26 years ago.

“Sandy said he’d take me out on the Saturday,” said Gallacher. “And I’m hoping to go round with someone like Jose Maria Olazabal - people who always play well - to ask a few questions on how they do it.”

 

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