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Stephen Gallacher: Golf is not rosy all the time but adversity gives you the impetus to improve

Stephen Gallacher in action at the Irish Open. Image: Shutterstock.
Stephen Gallacher in action at the Irish Open. Image: Shutterstock.

I gave DP World Tour Q School my best shot but it wasn’t to be.

Inconsistency has been the story of the season and it was the same again last week.

I struggled the first two days and then I felt like I was right back in it with the most beautiful 64 in the third round when I needed to get back into it.

I teed up in the fourth round in the same frame of mind but it didn’t work.

I missed the cut after four rounds by a shot but I gave it my all.

I need to regroup. I have been on the tour for 26 years and only had a couple of invites during that time so hopefully, I can get a few next season.

I should hopefully be in the tournaments I have won before and I will supplement my schedule with Challenge Tour events.

Hopefully, I can work my way back onto the tour that way.

It has given me a focus. I have to work harder than I have ever worked before if my body will allow.

I have a low category which might get me a few starts. I am only one spot away from the top 40 in career money. If I can work my way into the top 40 then I could get another year through that.

By that time, I would be 50 and could go to the tour school in America and try to get on the Champions Tour.

Stephen Gallacher missed the cut at DP World Tour Q School in Spain by a single shot. Image: Shutterstock

But the overall feeling is one of mixed emotions.

The inconsistency has been a trend for a couple of years. I have had the odd good round chucked in. I just can’t get consistency. I am chipping and putting well but my bad shots have been too costly.

That is what this game comes down to. My good shot is as good as the world number one but it is the bad shots that you have to eliminate. I need to take that out of my game and work hard at every aspect.

It is going to be about making those marginal gains in every area – from the physical side to the mental side to equipment.

I’m not going to feel sorry for myself. I have got myself into this position and I will get myself out of it.

It wasn’t long ago that Richard Bland lost his tour card and managed to make his way back through the Challenge Tour. He went on to make it into the world’s top 50 and it shows what is possible.

Golf is not rosy all the time. A bit of adversity can help you and give you the impetus to improve.

If I can get a few starts this year then it will be down to me. If I don’t do it then I’ll go back to tour school next year and see what happens.

I want to give it my best shot this year and work really hard.

Groundhog day with card on the line

Q School was an interesting experience.

It was like groundhog day as all the tee times were within two hours every day.

There are two sides to Q School. It was a mixture of young guys who are flying and others who have just narrowly missed their card but have been playing well. And then you have people like myself who have struggled a little bit over the past year.

You can’t go to tour school to find something in your game. It is too tough.

The six rounds suit players who are playing well because the better golfer will come through the six rounds.

Anything can happen in a one or two-round event but six rounds does separate the players in form.

I just didn’t play well enough. It can be perceived as tough and nerve-wracking but if you are playing well you will get through it.

If you have played on tour you can handle that pressure. For the younger players trying to make it onto the tour it can be different.

Pressure is a great thing. You need pressure if you want to do well. Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods said they were always nervous before they played. You need that.

That is when you know you are in the right game. If you stop getting nervous then you shouldn’t be in the game. It is how you handle it.

That is why the Challenge Tour is brilliant because you are doing what you would do on the tour but for a lot less money. It makes you prepared for the tour.

Rory is the man to beat

Rory McIlroy leads the rankings with one event to go. Image: Shutterstock

Rory McIlroy is top of the DP World Tour rankings ahead of this week’s final event in Dubai.

He is back to number one in the world and playing well. There is nobody finer than watching him when he is on his game.

It is a strong field as expected with players such as Shane Lowry, Tyrrell Hatton and Viktor Hovland in Dubai.

It is a big week for European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald to get a chance to look at his players and maybe get a chat with them.

It is a great event and the course is brilliant. Rory plays that course unbelievably well.

He will want to win the order of merit on both sides of the pond to cement his status as world number one.

Ryan Fox is second in the rankings and he has had a brilliant year. He will be hoping for one more big week to claim top spot.

It is also great that we have five Scots in the field. We had no Scots in this event six years ago.

They will all be feeling confident going into this week.

Bob MacIntyre can play well at the Earth Course, Richie Ramsay had a great week last week in South Africa. Ewen Ferguson is flying and Connor Syme has had a great year. David Law made a great to birdie at the last hole in South Africa to make the field and he will be delighted to be there.

It is a good reward for the players who have performed well this season. It is a big money event and a chance to do well.

The best in the world

There was some welcome Scottish success at the World Golf Awards on Tuesday.

Scotland was named as the ‘best-golfing destination in the world’ and Aberdeen’s Paul Lawrie was awarded a lifetime achievement award.

It is brilliant to see Paul recognised for the work he has done on and off the course.

And we should be immensely proud as Scotland is the best country in the world for playing golf.

This year’s Open at St Andrew’s reminded us of what we have on our doorstep. It was an amazing event.

The R&A smashed it out the park. They are getting their just rewards.

We had several big events in a row in Scotland and it showed how much we have to offer.