GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Stephen Gallacher is relishing his place as the hometown favorite in the 40th staging of the Ryder Cup.
He’s the only Scot on the 12-man European roster this week at Gleneagles.
“It was my lifetime ambition,” said Gallacher, who at 39 is making his first Ryder Cup appearance. “It was my goal to get here. I'm proud that I'm sitting here. I am very excited, and it is a bit surreal still, because I live so close. But it's one I'm embracing and just trying to use the positive energy. The crowd is going to be spectacular, as well, and it's just going to be really entertaining.”
Gallacher is feeling all the love for him in the practice rounds. He’s the nephew of Bernard Gallacher, who captained the European Ryder Cup teams in 1991, ’93 and ’95 and played in eight Ryder Cups. Stephen spent some time with his uncle when his grandmother, Bernard’s mother, died shortly after Stephen was announced as a captain's pick.
“Ultimately, he wants me to enjoy myself, take a time-out to soak it in,” said Gallacher, a three-time winner on the European Tour. “Just be yourself, play your own game.”
Gallacher has a home-field advantage beyond all the Scots who will be rooting for him. He lives just 30 miles from Gleneagles and estimates he has played the course more than a hundred times.