Gallacher ‘not intimidated by Tiger’ following pair-up

Stephen Gallacher (Getty Images)
Stephen Gallacher (Getty Images)
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NEARLY 20 years after facing each other in the Walker Cup, Stephen Gallacher and Tiger Woods will be paired together for the first time as professionals tomorrow.

Playing in the same group as not only Woods but also former Masters champion Fred Couples in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic ‘Champions Challenge’ is an exciting prospect for Gallacher.

But the Lothians star doesn’t plan to be starstruck and will use his experiences of playing with another of the game’s big guns, Phil Mickelson, as he bids to beat Woods as well as the other former winners kicking off celebrations to mark the event’s 25th anniversary.

“I’m not going to be intimidated by Tiger,” said Gallacher, who has the honour of being the defending champion in the milestone main tournament starting at the Emirates Golf Club on Thursday.

“In fact, I’m looking forward to it and feel excited by the prospect.

“I’ve played with Phil Mickelson a few times in recent years. That was good fun and I’m sure this will be, too.

“There’s only 20 guys in the field playing for a $600,000 prize fund, with $300,000 going to the winner. Seve Ballesteros apart, all the former winners are going to be there so it will be a great event and one that I’m looking forward to being part of.”