LOTHIANS legend Bernard Gallacher is likely to raise the roof when he receives a lifetime achievement award early next year.
The honour at the Scottish Golf Awards will be emotional on its own for Gallacher as he joins Colin Montgomerie, Paul Lawrie, Sam Torrance and Sandy Lyle as recipients of the accolade. He can expect an even warmer welcome from the guests at the ceremony in Glasgow at the end of February following his health scare earlier this year.
The former Ryder Cup captain suffered a cardiac arrest during a function in Aberdeen and is lucky to still be alive.
Even before that happened, Gallacher was the obvious candidate to be admitted to Scottish golf’s unofficial ‘Hall of Fame’. And it’s fitting the Bathgate man will be in the spotlight in the year when Scotland stages its first Ryder Cup match since 1973.
Gallacher played in that clash at Muirfield – one of eight appearances in the event before going on to captain Europe three times. That run culminated in him steering a side containing the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo to a victory at Oak Hill in 1995.
“I’m delighted to be accepting a Scottish Golf Lifetime Achievement award ahead of such a special year for golf in the country,” said the Ascot-based 64-year-old. “It’s an honour to follow the greatest names in Scottish golf who have received this award in the past.”
He added: “I enjoyed my playing career, as an amateur and a professional, but it’s probably my contribution to the Ryder Cup that I’m best remembered for. “It was a privilege to captain three teams and winning in America at Oak Hill was really the icing on the cake for me.
“I played in the first Ryder Cup in Scotland in 1973 at Muirfield and, like all golf fans, I’m looking forward to it coming back for what will be a fantastic contest.”