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Page last updated at 16:30 GMT, Sunday, 18 July 2010 17:30 UK

Gallacher pleased to be top Scot at Open Championship

The Open Championship, St Andrews, 15-18 July
Coverage: Live on BBC TV, Red Button, BBC Sport website, with updates on BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 5 live Full coverage details

Stephen Gallacher
Gallacher continued his impressive run of form at the Open

By Colin Moffat
BBC Sport Scotland at St Andrews

Stephen Gallacher was the best Scottish performer at the Open, shooting a one-under final round 71.

The 35-year was steady throughout his four days in St Andrews, ending the tournament on three-under-par.

"It's nice to be top Scot and I've got a lot of positives to take from the week," said Gallacher.

Colin Montgomerie finished on four-over-par, while Andrew Coltart, who was tied for third after the opening day, ended on five-over.

A birdie at the 14th moved Gallacher to the five-under mark on Sunday. But, not for the first time this week, he came unstuck at the 17th.

The extended Road Hole has not been kind to him, with five shots lost there over his four rounds.

But Gallacher, who was paired with world number two Phil Mickelson, was not overly concerned at losing ground on the home stretch.

"I wasn't looking at the leaderboard, I was just trying to hit good shots," he explained.

"It's where you want to be. Playing on the Sunday with the Masters champion."

You've got to hit the ball firm enough because of the subtleties of the greens. You think they're in but they just dribble off

Colin Montgomerie

Coltart followed his fabulous opening round of 66 with a 77 during Friday's gales and was blown further off course over the weekend.

"Tee to green, I'm playing as well as I've ever done and I'm happy with the way that's been this week," said the man from Dumfries.

"But it's not felt far away for the last three or four years and the longer it goes on, the more frustrating it becomes.

"I don't feel that it's far away, but then again I haven't done anything to show that it's close."

Montgomerie, runner-up at the last St Andrews Open in 2005, scored 74, 71, 74, 73.

"I didn't putt well enough," he said.

"I just wasn't hitting the ball hard enough on the greens at all. I'm getting a bit negative in my old age, I'm afraid.

"Around here, that's criminal. You've got to hit the ball firm enough because of the subtleties of the greens. You think they're in, but they just dribble off."

The silver lining for this year's Ryder Cup captain will have been the sight of so many Europeans out-shooting the American heavyweights.

Monty lauds European success at Open

Paul Lawrie got the ball rolling with the first drive of the tournament at 0630 BST on Thursday.

Like Coltart, the 1999 champion enjoyed the flat calm conditions and shot an opening 69.

However, the Aberdonian, a renowned bad weather player, was not so lucky on Friday and carded a miserable 82 amid the ferocious gusts to miss the cut.

Martin Laird was another who was punished by the elements on Friday, with his score on that brutal day one stroke worse than Lawrie's.

A horrible quadruple-bogey seven on the par three eighth knocked the stuffing out of the US-based Scot, who said he had had fun despite being 13 over par after two rounds.

Sandy Lyle joined fellow former Open winner Lawrie on the seven-over mark after rounds of 75 and 76.

The 52-year-old, who won this event at Sandwich in 1985, suffered like so many others at the famous Road Hole, playing the 17th in four over par for his two rounds.

But perhaps Lyle was not expecting great things this week.

When asked pre-tournament what line he would be taking off the tee at 17, he joked that he would be happy just making sure he did not hit the Old Course Hotel.



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see also
Live - The Open day four
18 Jul 10 |  Golf
The Open day four photos
18 Jul 10 |  Golf
Coltart back in the big time
18 Jul 10 |  Golf
Gallacher best place Scot at Open
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Scots trio miss cut at St Andrews
17 Jul 10 |  Golf
Scotland 'needs golf federation'
17 Jul 10 |  Golf


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