Stephen Gallacher has long had a good feeling about Wentworth – his uncle is immortalised in metal on the first tee – and it’s giving him confidence for the latter part of his career.
The Scot, 47 in November, shot a five-under 67 to move into the weekend at the BMW PGA Championship at the venue where his uncle Bernard was the club professional for so long.
Although exempt for next season, this was just the second time in eight starts Stevie has made the cut, and it cuts into your confidence when you’re playing with the long-hitting youngsters on tour these days.
25th season and 600th event soon
Today marks Stephen Gallacher's 584th European Tour event.
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 4, 2021
“This is my 25th season and I’ve got my 600th event in a month’s time,” he said. “I think you do doubt yourself, every now and again, through just getting old.
“But it’s days like this that show you are still hitting it long enough and you definitely take heart from shooting five-under on a tough track. I think that makes you believe you can still do it.
“I’ve played decent golf here and there. At the start of the year I was really good, Saudi but then I really struggled for a bit. But I’ve got it back now and I am really looking forward to the end of the year.”
Gallacher is not the only one who has found the tour during Covid to be a difficult thing.
“I’ve struggled a bit the last couple of years. I’ve struggled all the way through Covid, to be honest. Travelling, everything, has been a bit of a nightmare.
‘Everything is going back to normality’
“Now everything is going to a bit of normality with crowds, that’s what I am used to playing in. The London Club (for Cazoo Classic) was the first time we didn’t have to eat in our room.
“I’ve had 20 years of playing golf, then going out for dinner, chilling out and not talking about golf. We’ve been sitting in our rooms 24/7 almost and getting food delivered so you are always thinking about golf. I love getting away from it.”
That was also the case for David Drysdale, who birdied the last two holes to comfortably make the weekend and continue his kid for his 18th successive season on tour.
“I want to be here for the weekend at every event, but you absolutely want to be around for the weekend here,” he said.
“I was just saying in there that guys shoot level par, yet are heading up the road. That’s a good standard. I know these guys are good, but the course is no pushover.
“The last few cuts I made on the UK Swing I had two good rounds out of four so hopefully I can have four here.”
‘Those odd days when I’m useless’
Calum Hill had one of the best rounds of the Scots on the second day, a five-under 67, but left himself too much to do after Thursday’s 78.
“The golf has been generally pretty easy but I just keeping having those odd days when I’m useless,” he said. “The golf’s not bad, there’s lots of good stuff and loads of birdies but the bad stuff is really bad.
“It’s only been three events since the win. It’s just annoying my fractional slumps have been at the Scottish Open and this week.
“I have two weeks off now. The Dunhill next, just try and finish inside as high as I can on the Race to Dubai. I’m looking for a big final six events.”