Gallacher's tough task as exemption runs out

STEPHEN Gallacher will need to produce his best result in four years at this week's Ballantine's Championship in Korea to take full advantage of his medical exemption and safeguard his European Tour card.

The 35-year-old's 2009 season was curtailed by a debilitating viral infection and he was handed a ten-event exemption for the early part of the current campaign to make up the financial shortfall and retain his playing rights for next year.

The Ballantine's Championship, which starts today on Jeju Island, is the final event of that exemption and former Dunhill Links champion Gallacher, who has made his last six cuts, is currently 125,467 short of the 250,786 total he needs to amass.

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A top-three finish this weekend would be enough for the Scot but he has not achieved a result like that since he was tied second in the 2006 British Masters.

Should Gallacher fail in his Far East quest, the former Walker Cup player can still fall back on the lesser tour card he earned by finishing third in December's qualifying school final.

Gallacher is joined in the Korean field this week by fellow Scots David Drysdale, Marc Warren, Alastair Forsyth and Peter Whiteford while Ernie Els, Anthony Kim and last week's Volvo China Open winner YE Yang also compete.