Stephen Gallacher forces Tony Jacklin into a U-turn

Stephen Gallacher during the BMW PGA Championships at Wentworth. Picture: PA

Stephen Gallacher during the BMW PGA Championships at Wentworth. Picture: PA

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Stephen Gallacher’s storming finish in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth has left former Ryder Cup captain Tony Jacklin eating his own words.

After only just surviving the cut, the Lothians star closed with rounds of 68 and 66 to finish joint-fifth, the latter matched only by Rory McIlroy as the Irishman claimed the title.

Gallacher’s performance has lifted him four spots to 36th in the world rankings while he is up to eighth in the Race to Dubai. He is also likely to have moved up in the Ryder Cup standings when the latest positions are published today.

Jacklin, speaking before the final two rounds, had described Gallacher as “tender-minded” and seemed to question his Ryder Cup credentials. He has now said that his remarks were taken out of context but, at the same time, heaped praise on the Bathgate ace for his eye-catching weekend surge in the European Tour’s showpiece event.

“It was a terrific performance,” admitted Jacklin, who led Europe to four wins over the Americans during a four-match captaincy stint.

On his earlier remarks, he added: “I did say he was maybe not steely enough, but he certainly came out today and showed what he was capable of as it was a great round of golf.

“I’m delighted for him and sometimes it’s these little jibes that get guys going. I meant it in a kind way, not with any malice.”