Gallacher Creates History in 25th Omega Dubai Desert Classic

ODDC winner

Stephen Gallacher survived an early wobble on the front nine to become the first player in the history of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to successfully defend his title at Emirates Golf Club on Sunday.

The 39-year-old Scot, two ahead at the start, handed the initiative away with a bogey-bogey start and then dropped further shots on the sixth and eighth to fall two off the pace. He needed to produce something special to hold off the chasing pack. Four birdies in a seven-hole stretch starting from the 11th did the trick for Gallacher as he closed with a level-par 72 for a tournament total of 16-under par, which was enough to win by one shot from Argentina's Emiliano Grillo.

"I never do anything easy I'm afraid," said Gallacher after receiving the winner's trophy from HH Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, and Mohammed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, were also present.
"I never really played the front nine that well all week. I don't know, it was a carbon copy of yesterday (Saturday) apart from I holed a couple of putts for par and got a bit lucky yesterday but today I was in bushes and trees and stuff," said Gallacher, now a three-time winner on the European Tour.

 "I just kept saying to myself, 'stay patient'. I played the back nine well and no one was really running away with it at the time," said the Scot who fought back into contention after a magical 63 in third round which included seven birdies and an eagle on the back nine.

"To win it on the 25th anniversary of the event, it was a good field with all the champions playing, makes it even more special."


Photo caption:
HH Shaikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, presenting the winner's trophy to Stephen Gallacher of Scotland as Shaikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the Emirates Golf Federation, and Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, look on at Emirates Golf Club