Monday, September 29, 2014


                          Bernard Gallacher at the Scottish Golf Awards night earlier in the year.



Bernard Gallacher had a heart attack the last time he was in the top half of Scotland - Aberdeen, to be precise - but that is all behind him now and let's hope he returns south of the Border at the end of this week with far happier memories than his last trip North.

Gallacher, who played in eight consecutive matches from 1969 to 1983  and was later three times team captain in a row, extends the Ryder Cup flavour into this week's last big event of the 2014 PGA in Scotland Tour - the £40,000 Tomatin Single Malt 54-hole pro-am over three of the North of Scotland's classic links courses, Royal Dornoch, Nairn and Castle Stuart.
Wentworth's Gallacher, whose nephew Stephen made his Ryder Cup debut at Gleneagles, is an eye-catching name in a field of the Scottish stars from leading money-winner again, Greig Hutcheon, through Greg McBain, winner of the recent winner of the Paul Lawrie Invitational and runner-up in this event 12 months ago, to Hayston's Stephen Gray who has won the "Tomatin" in its first two years.
Gray's top prize last year was £6,500; McBain received £5,000 and, in Tartan Tour terms, there will again be big money to be won down through the final top 10 and beyond.
Gray's winning total 12 months ago was 11-under-par 203.
The three-day event starts Tuesday with approximately 17 pros and their teams of amateurs playing each course and rotating round the others to finish on Thursday.

+Other names to note include Lloyd Saltman (Archerfield Links) and Bruce Davidson (River Oaks, Texas), the man who set up and owned the King's Links Golf Centre at the Aberdeen Links before he moved to the United States.
+Bernard Gallacher was one of the guest speakers at The Marcliffe Hotel tonight - in the same room where he collapsed - at a Deeside Golf Club dinner to honour Stewart Spencr, proprietor of the hotel who is retiring nearer the end of the year.
Also among the guests of the Paul  Lawrience Foundation function was Paul Lawrie himself (well, with his wife Marian) and fellow Ryder Cup player Harry Bannerman, GB and Ireland women's team captain for 2015-2016, Elaine Farquharson, an honorary member of Deeside GC.
Hope Bernard Gallacher made it up North in time to tee off on Tuesday morning. It was nearer midnight before the function ended - but everybody had a very enjoyable night.
Bannerman voiced the opinion that every member of both Ryder Cup teams should play in each session which he suggested should be:
Day 1 - Six foursomes or six four-ball matches.
Day 2 - Six foursomes or fsix four-ball matches.
Day 3 - 12 singles.
Bernard Gallacher thought that would be quite a good idea instead of leaving four of the world's best players to twiddle their thumbs at each session of the first two days under the present arrangements.
The raffle and auction raised a five-figure sum jointly for the Paul Lawrie Foundation and Bernard Gallacher's every-club-should-have-a- defibrilator campaign. 



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