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Gallacher overcomes dire start to retain Dubai title

By Matt Smith DUBAI (Reuters) - Scotland's Stephen Gallacher struck a final round 72 to clinch the $2.5 million Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday as he overcame a nightmare start to become the first player to retain the coffee pot trophy. Gallacher, whose Dubai win 12 months ago was his first title in nearly a decade, skittered four bogeys on the front nine holes, but clawed back four shots after the turn in a gritty display to end on 272.

Golf: Ryder Cup dream alive for Gallacher

Stephen Gallacher's dream of playing in the Ryder Cup in his native Scotland in September is now firmly in the realms of the possible following his win in the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday. The first man to successfully defend the title in its 25 year history, the 39-year-old Scot will jump 30 places in the world rankings up to 37th. That opens all sorts of doors for him, most notably ensuring that he plays in all four of this year's majors, including a first outing at Augusta National for the Masters in April.

Golf: Gallacher has Ryder Cup dreams

Stephen Gallacher is hoping that a successful defence of his Dubai Desert Classic crown this week could provide the platform for him to break into the European Ryder Cup team for the first time. Paul McGinley's men will defend the trophy against the Americans at Gleneagles in eastern Scotland from September 26-28. It will be the first time the biennial showdown has been held in Scotland since 1973 when it was staged at Muirfield, but currently no Scot is high enough up the Points List to automatically make the team

Golf: Gallacher storms into Dubai lead

Stephen Gallacher produced one of the finest back nines in the history of the European Tour on Saturday to stand on the verge of becoming the first player to successfully defend the Dubai Desert Classic. The 39-year-old Scot was doing nothing very much with seven straight pars and a bogey when he suddenly went on the rampage. From the ninth, Gallacher nailed an eagle and eight birdies in 10 holes. His nine-under 28 on the back nine equalled the European Tour record.

Golf: Gallacher wins in Dubai

In a tournament in which he could do no wrong, Stephen Gallacher of Scotland fired a timely eagle two on the par-4 16th hole and comfortably won the $2.5 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic in the end by three shots. On a difficult day at the Majlis course of Emirates Golf Club, Gallacher battled it out gamely against South Africa's Richard Sterne before the magic second shot with a sandwedge from 115 yard changed the complexion of the tournament. It was Gallacher's fifth eagle of the tournament and it helped him close the tournament with a one-under par 71 round.

Golf: Double eagle joy puts Gallacher in Dubai lead

Stephen Gallacher fired two eagles on the back nine in a remarkable bogey-free round of 10-under par 62 to take a three-shot lead into the final day of the $2.5 million Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Gallacher, nephew of the former European Ryder Cup captain Bernard, rattled the pin with his second shot on the par-5 13th and then holed his bunker shot on the 18th from 30 yards. That, along with six other birdies, helped him reach 21-under par 195 after three rounds.
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