Martin Dempster: Scots golfers being made to look like poor neighbours

Stephen Gallacher is on course to retain his card for 2019. Picture: Getty.
Stephen Gallacher is on course to retain his card for 2019. Picture: Getty.
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Take Russell Knox winning the Irish Open out of the equation and, sadly, it has been another season offering very little to shout about for Scots on the European Tour. Only Stephen Gallacher (84th) and Scott Jamieson (106th) are on course to retain their cards for 2019 through finishing in the top 110 in the Race to Dubai. In his rookie season, Connor Syme isn’t too far away from the safety zone in 116th, two places ahead of David Drysdale as he bids to retain his seat at the table for a 15th consecutive campaign.

Both Richie Ramsay and Marc Warren, sitting 124th and 145th respectively, also face an uncomfortable run-in, which will be a disappointing position for each of them. Barring some strong performances over the next few weeks – and the Dunhill Links Championship certainly has a habit of delivering that for home players – there is a distinct possibility that the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai will not include a single Scot this year. Knox, lying eighth, is eligible but it remains to be seen if he will make his debut in the event at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

In contrast, of course, it’s been a great year so far for the Caledonian contingent on the Challenge Tour, where both David Law and Grant Forrest are on course to earn step-ups. There’s nothing that beats success at the top level, though, and, with ten victories on the European Tour in 2018 alone, England is certainly making us look like poor neighbours right now. Just saying.