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August 23, 2011

Stephen Gallacher


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Welcome to the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles. Before we go into the golf, I believe you got some nice news for yourself and the World Cup.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, I got a text on Wednesday night from Martin Laird telling me he had picked me for the World Cup. Just said that he's looking forward to going to China, and I'm sure we'll -- paraphrase what he said for the press and people reading, but he said something about, 'I'm sure we'll do well' and other terms, and just said something about -- you know -- I said to him: "Good luck for the FedEx and I'll speak to you later on."
He said, "Yeah, I'll give you a bell for sorting out outfits and stuff."
I said, "As long as I don't need to be in white trousers, I'm your man." He's a bit skinnier and leaner than me. I'll be needing to be pushing for the navy that week.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Obviously great news for yourself.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, yeah, it's a bit of a sort of you're-in-it, you're-not-in-it thing. It's just good to get it confirmed. It's obviously a great honour any time you can represent your country, especially being every two years now, it gives it that bit more sort of an edge to it. As you can see by some of the other teams that are playing in it, it's a strongly-contested week. And with the tradition of Scotland, Marc and Monty in the playoff, Scotland has been doing pretty well in it and looking forward to it.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: And give us your thoughts on the week ahead here at Gleneagles.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Obviously any time you are playing in Scotland, it gives it that bit of an edge for the Scottish players. It's got an added value to the tournament. You want to win on your home soil in front of your home crowd. It's a course I like and enjoy playing as well and staying at home as well, which like is a breath of fresh air, too. Everything is positive and I just want to do really well and get it started.

Q. Am I right in saying that you've played with Martin?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I played with him in practise.

Q. What do you think of your respective games, how you'll complement one another in the World Cup?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, he's a longer hitter than me off the tee and he hits it pretty strayed, fades it left-to-right and I hit it right-to-left. Should be hopefully able to work out the right-to-left/left-to-right holes, and you know, we are both -- he's a good ball-striker as well and he's a better putter than me -- well, going by stats, anyway. I'll try and leave him the putts to hole (chuckling).

Q. When you look at your career and obviously you've had a lot of success, but where would this rank, playing in the World Cup?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, it's just a good -- it's sort of a well done for your last couple -- last year was a good year I had coming back. It's more a -- you know, it means you're sort of being a wee bit more consistent, especially when it's over two years.
When it's over a year, you can have one really good tournament and get in it, but when it's spanned over two years, you've got to have that wee bit amount of consistency to sort of get in it.
Like I say, anytime it's an honour to represent your country.

Q. Martin, because he's based most of his time in America, he doesn't has as much of a chance getting to know the guys and developing relationships; has he made that real effort with you and got to know you?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, we kind of clicked last year, Whistling Straits, had lunch with him and breakfast with him a couple of times, just sort of talking. And his father's done a bit of work for one of my good friends, and we could just -- we just had different things to talk about and interests and things like that.
I played with him a couple of rounds practise at the U.S. Open, The Open and the US PGA. He's a good lad and we get on quite a bit. He's not lost his Scottish roots and he's obviously got his family over here. When he was over at the Dunhill, we were talking about stuff like that, how much he likes to play links courses and he's just been playing -- he changed his whole game to play in America. He said when he went over, he changed to a high ball flight and stuff.
He going to try -- he would love to play a bit more in Europe, he was saying; he would like to get in The Ryder Cup, as we all do. But I think he's going to be maybe trying to play a bit more over here.

Q. Were you the last person he told?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, I played with Gary Woodland, who is his mate and the management company and stuff, and he said, "It's good you're playing with Martin in the World Cup." I think he went on honeymoon and got married, because his caddie told my caddie at The Open, as well. And then the Tour phoned me up and told me, wait a minute, you're not. So it's been a saga you could say more --

Q. He had to wait to tell you?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Absolutely. It's one of these ones, it doesn't really matter. I think if I was in Martin's shoes as well, it would have looked a bit silly to pick me in The Open and somebody won back-to-back and not got in. It was the right thing to do.
I didn't really have any -- it was more sort of communication error than anything else. It didn't really bother me anyway. I had to try -- I would rather have played my way into the team my way rather than relied on a pick.

Q. Playing for Scotland 14 times as an amateur, can you just talk about your most special memory playing for Scotland back then?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Any time we beat the English I think. (Laughter) big rivals, because I was big mates with Mark Foster and Warren Bennett and all these guys going up, playing GB&I and stuff. It's always good to try to beat your pals back then.
No, I mean any time you throw the collars on or the --

Q. The team championship, when was that --
STEPHEN GALLACHER: We won that in Belgium. It was more sort of -- the Europeans was good. That was the first big thing, you get in the Walker Cup and Eisenhower and stuff like that. Playing for Scotland, they picked a four-man team and that was pretty special. Now it's different because Scotland has got their own team.
You know any sort of team event is totally different because you're out here playing for yourself all the time. But whenever you get into a team environment, you know, you see how much the guys love The Ryder Cup, it's once every couple of years. It's more of a novelty and there's a bit of camaraderie they don't normally have and you get bonds with people and that's what it's all about.

Q. Was it true you were spotted on the pitch at Celtic Park at half time?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, I hope it's not my fault they got beat -- inaudible -- Celtic, I took my caddie there, I told him to take a good look around because he'll not be back (laughter). Me and Jack, the wee man, I picked the first one and he done the other one. So he was brilliant, get a buzz even now, you know.

Q. I was going to ask you, mentioning The Ryder Cup, Martin said is he going to join the Tour next year?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I don't know if he's going to join the Tour --

Q. Well, I think he has to become a Member.
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, he must joining the Tour then. He definitely told me he's going to try and play -- obviously he's got the Majors and the World events. And because of this FedEx, he couldn't play the Dunhill; he really enjoyed the Dunhill.
But I think he's going to try to play a bit more in Europe just so that Olazábal knows who he is and things like that and to get his face known. He definitely wants to play a bit more, he said that. I think he enjoyed himself when he was over here in Scotland and the Dunhill. You know, it's probably -- well, it is a totally different event to be in America. But he's definitely going to play, he told me that.

Q. You mentioned The Ryder Cup. You all want to play in that naturally. How much of a target is that for you?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Well, that would be my ultimate goal really. Just because it's -- keep it in the family. Got brought up watching -- playing it or captaining it, so it's right in sort of the Gallacher sort of tradition. You can even go back to Eric Brown captaining. So having two captains in a mining village is pretty special. You don't get many places like that in the world.
You know, from growing up -- everywhere you go, Ryder Cup, it's just everything I've always -- you know, you play in the Walker Cup, you want to play The Ryder Cup. And especially maybe in Scotland, as well, there's not going to be a chance it's coming back here for a while. So I know it's a wee bit far away, but it would be tremendous to represent your home country.

Q. Do you still get people stopping you on the street asking you when you will play in the Ryder Cup?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: No, no, totally different generation and stuff like that. Back then, only GB&I, right up till -- right up till sort of, was it '81 or something? When did it go -- '81? Because I remember '83 was West Palm Beach wasn't it, Canizares and all these guys.
So, no, it's not -- you can't really compare to that. Plus the different guys on the Tour now, playing on both tours, you've just got to be up high enough up the World Rankings to be into the big tournaments and keep the points up. That's the key in trying to get into the Ryder Cups.

Q. Will you keep the same schedule next year?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I've not seen the schedule, Jock. I haven't really looked past this week to be honest.
I mean, I'm playing Switzerland, I've not played there for a while, just because I missed Czech last week and I thought, coming back to the States, I thought, well, I'll go and try to it -- I want to do well this week. Just pick the schedule out and just going to stick with that.

Q. Where are you in The Race to Dubai --
STEPHEN GALLACHER: I don't know. Good week this week, I don't know, might put me up a bit. But I think it's -- I don't know how it's run -- I think it's Euros, isn't it.
I've done pretty well, had a few Top-10s and done all right last rounds and stuff. I remember playing a lot with Monty one year last and had a 63 on the course, as well, a couple of years back. I came up and played it a couple of times. I played it two weeks ago and played it last week. They made a good change to the 7th, as well, well needed. It's a good green, that. But I think it's maybe too early -- it's not too bad. I think it's maybe too early, see how the aeration system is working. I think it's a bit early for that but can't really tell any difference.
But they are obviously going to see in three years' time, it's not going to change too much in that time so I think they are going to try to get it in as good of condition as they can.

Q. (Was the heat much of a factor in Atlanta)?
STEPHEN GALLACHER: Yeah, just got the fluid -- take back as much with me as I could. If you're not used to it, and the sweat dripping off the nose on to the ball is not easy, just puts you off a wee bit, and having to change the glove every two holes.
But I just didn't drive it well, so I've been doing a lot of work with Bob the last couple of days, just working on my driving. But this course, right-to-left holes out here -- to get the driving going out here and put you in positions, it's almost as important in putting, especially in Majors, because if you get it out of position, you still want to get to the right bit of the green you want to hit it on.
So been doing a lot of work with Dean on my practise, same as Luke Donald does for -- what's the guy -- Dave Alred. They do a lot of sort of -- it's more measurable factors. So I'm working on my short game. From 120 yards in, you can actually keep some stats on your practise for distance and see if you are getting better and or what you need to work on. Just seeing the way I go about practise rounds, even Pro-Ams, just working solely on trying to put more pressure on my practise so it's simulating the actual golf.
I enjoy it. At least it's practising sort of what you're going to be doing tournament level, rather than just practising for the sake of it. It's definitely very good, and Dean is a past winner and World Cup player and he's been there and done it, as well and he's been doing well with the Stirling guys, so he's making a bit of a name for himself.
He's a very good mate of mine anyway, just speaking -- he gave me a couple of ideas to work on and I liked it, Really little liked it, changed my putter as well. He was one of the best putters around. As you can see, there's a sort of trend now, the guys like Stockton and like that who was a good putter when he was playing, sort of giving his sort of his method over, and Dean was a brilliant putter, as well. So seems silly not to speak to guys that are really good in that field. So he's been helping us and it seems pretty good.
MICHAEL GIBBONS: Thanks for joining us.

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