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Page last updated at 17:42 GMT, Sunday, 11 July 2010 18:42 UK

On form Stephen Gallacher eager for Open Championship

Final leaderboard:
-12 E Molinari (Ita) -9 D Clarke (NI) -8 R Jacquelin (Fra)
-7 S Gallacher (Sco), P Hedblom (Swe), F Molinari (Ita)

By Colin Moffat
BBC Scotland at Loch Lomond

Stephen Gallacher
Gallacher finished on seven under at Loch Lomond

Stephen Gallacher cannot wait to have a crack at next week's Open as he continues his red-hot streak of form.

The 35-year-old from West Lothian flew the flag for the home nation to finish in a tie for fourth at the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

And he was one of just three players to break 70 on a testing final day.

"I'm really looking forward to St Andrews," he told BBC Scotland. "This was good preparation since the weather is to be like this until Friday."

Gallacher sunk a birdie putt at the final hole to close with a 68 on a day when a host of players were blown off course by the gusting winds and heavy rain.

"It was a great way to finish," he added. "This is a course I really like.

"It was tough with the wind, especially early on, so I was really fighting to keep control of the ball.

"In the inclement weather, you really need to scramble and keep your short game in shape."

This was Gallacher's third fourth-place finish in recent weeks, with the others coming at the PGA Championship and Wales Open, while there was a sixth-place finish at the Madrid Masters.

It was difficult to get your balance when putting and really tough to chip it close when you missed greens

David Drysdale

With illness and injury problems behind him, Gallacher can draw on good memories from St Andrews, where he made his Open debut as an amateur in 1995.

He also has a tournament victory at the famous Old Course, having won the Dunhill Links there in 2004.

A year ago, Gallacher played at Loch Lomond against doctor's orders and then had an enforced three months off as a viral infection took hold.

"It's probably done me a good turn," he explained. "Because I feel really fresh right now and I'm enjoying my golf."

Scottish trio Martin Laird, Craig Lee and David Drysdale all posted 74s to finish in a share of 26th place at two over par.

Their countryman Richie Ramsay shot an ugly 77 to end the weekend on four over par.

"It was almost impossible for the first nine holes," said Drysdale.

"If the greens hadn't been so damp and slow, it would have been unplayable.

"It was difficult to get your balance when putting and really tough to chip it close when you missed greens."



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see also
Molinari holds off Clarke to win
11 Jul 10 |  Golf
Frustrating finish for Clarke
11 Jul 10 |  Golf
Woods suffers in St Andrews gales
11 Jul 10 |  Golf
Brothers in arms at Loch Lomond
10 Jul 10 |  Golf
Mickelson rankings gloom
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Ishikawa mania comes to Scotland
09 Jul 10 |  Golf
Gallacher in rude health
08 Jul 10 |  Golf


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