Stephen Gallacher wins in Dubai
Scotland's Stephen Gallacher won his second European Tour title at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
Gallacher had fired a third-round 62 that moved him into the lead heading into the final round. His final-round 71 allowed him to finish three shots clear of 36-hole leader, Richard Sterne.
The Omega Desert Classic offered a total purse of €2.5 million and has been held since 1989. Previous winners include Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Ernie Els, Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazabal, Mark O’Meara and Colin Montgomerie.
Lee Westwood made his 2013 season debut in Dubai and finished T-5, six shots behind the winner. He shot 67-71-66-68 and was 16-under par for the week. He appears fit and ready to challenge Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods in the majors.
Gallacher joined the European Tour in 1996 and also won the 2004 Dunhill Links Championship. He collects €309,000, and his 22-under par total tied Thomas Bjorn for the low aggregate score in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
He is currently ranked No. 111 in the Official World Golf Rankings, and this win should move him inside the Top 50, which will make him eligible for the lucrative WGC events coming up later this month and in March.
He has won €6.7 million over his career with his best year being 2010, when he won €931,000. He posted six top 10s in 2012, earned €844,000 and finished No. 35 in the Race to Dubai.
Sergio Garcia played well the first two days with scores of 68-67, but a sore shoulder hampered his play over the weekend, and he could only manage 71-71 to finish T-17, eleven shots behind the winner.
Defending champion Rafael Cabrera-Bello finished T-17 at 11-under par.
This is the final event in the European Tour’s Middle East swing, and they will move to South Africa for the Joburg Open in Johannesburg.