Thursday, September 23, 2010

A different school of thought pays

off for John Gallacher

John Gallacher reckons he made a wise decision choosing Austria over Ayrshire for the first stage of the European Tour Qualifying School.
The former Scottish amateur champion coughed up the cash to make the journey to Ebreichsdorf to play there instead of Dundonald Links.
But it proved money well spent as he progressed to the second stage and then watched some of his fellow European Tour hopefuls being blown away closer to home.
"It was a bit of a gamble going to Austria but I went there because I hadn't done well at Dundonald a couple of years ago in the same event," said Gallagher.

"I had a good chat with my coach, Ian Rae, and it was a case of looking at courses that would suit my game.

"We came up with Ebreichsdorf as it's tree-lined, which puts the focus on driving, and that part of my game is normally pretty good."

Rounds of 72, 70, 70 and 74 saw the Swanston New star advance to the next stage, which takes place at four venues in Spain at the end of November, with the six-round final phase straight after that, also in Spain.

"My decision to go to Austria was certainly justified when I saw how much of a lottery the event at Dundonald became," added Gallagher, referring to the high winds that saw scoring soar at the Ayrshire course last week.
"When you are paying that amount of money (around £1,300] to enter you want somewhere you either like or don't know anything about and my success in getting past the first stage was certainly well-planned."
The added bonus for the former Lothians champion is that he has kept his season alive, having missed out on a place in next week's EuroPro Tour Championship in Cyprus.
"It has not been easy for me over the last couple of years as I've tried to adjust (to the paid ranks]," he admitted.
"The results have not been what I was looking for but it's just a case of keeping patient and waiting for it to happen.
"The people who support me have been great and I don't feel I'm a million miles away from where I want to be.
"It is really difficult on the EuroPro Tour. It's not about making money there but, at the same time, it is difficult trying to break even.
"You want to get up the ladder and I've got an opportunity now at the second stage, which I've not reached before.
"It is great to have kept my season going and who knows where I could go to if I can make it to the final stage of Q-school."
Gallagher will be joined in Spain by at least two Lothians compatriots, with Marriott Dalmahoy's Mark Kerr and Shaun McAllister of Craigielaw having been among those to progress at Dundonald.



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