Stephen Gallacher jokingly said he was off to “break a few putters” after his hopes of a second Alfred Dunhill Links Championship victory fizzled out in a “frustrating” final round. Joint third and just three off the lead at the start of the day, the 2004 winner was still in with a shout after going out in two-under but ran up a double-bogey 6 at the tenth after having to play out backwards from a bunker and then limped home in 41.
A closing 75 for an eight-under-par total left Gallacher, pictured, having to settle for joint tenth, and though up to 76th in the Race to Dubai after picking up close to £75,000, it wasn’t the last day he had been looking for. “It was good to be in the last group on a Sunday again. That’s why you practice,” said the 43-year-old, who was left to fly the Saltire on his own after the other eight home players in the field failed to survive the 54-hole cut. “It’s just a shame I didn’t follow it through, so there’s work still to be done.
“When I hit in the bunker at ten, that was me done. That was the end of my momentum.
You are still chasing it. But I made another couple of errors and that was that. It’s been a good week. Just my putting has been absolutely horrendous. I think I’ve had nine three-putts. I’ve played so much better than my score, so it’s really frustrating. I will go to see [short-game guru] Phil Kenyon on Tuesday, break a few putters, get something else out to putt with!”
As he heads to Walton Heath for the British Masters, Gallacher is happy with the other aspects of his game. “I’m hitting the ball really good, probably as well as I have for years and years,” added the three-time European Tour winner.
“I’m just not scoring. Even yesterday, six under could have been ten, because I had three three-putts. I’m out in two under today, which is six under for my last 27 holes – and feeling like I’ve left shots out there.
“They come back to bite you over 72 holes. Then you hit a few bad ones and get penalised. But I know what I need to do, if I want to keep getting into this position. I’ll be doing that the next couple of weeks.”