Stephen Gallacher set to miss Scottish Open

Stephen Gallacher is facing a lay-off after his hand injury flared up again. Picture: Jane Barlow
Stephen Gallacher is facing a lay-off after his hand injury flared up again. Picture: Jane Barlow
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Stephen Gallacher is feeling “positive” about the long term despite facing up to some short-term “disappointment”.

The three-time European Tour is definitely out of both the BMW International Masters in Germany and the French Open due to his hand injury flaring up again.

He also fears that the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart will come too soon for his return after requiring a cortisone injection earlier this week.

A more realistic target is the Paul Lawrie Match Play at Archerfield Links in East Lothian in the first week of August.

“I have been bothered by inflammation on a tendon on my left hand for more than a year,” said the 41-year-old. “I went under the knife in March and the operation was a success, but the problem has returned.

“I had no option but to pull out of playing in Austria last week and get the injury scanned. I went down to Leeds to see my surgeon Doug Campbell and the conclusion is I have no option but to change my swing.

“I showed my surgeon footage of some of my swings and I was told if I keep doing that then the injury would keep flaring up. I would get to a stage of overusing the problem tendon and that could jeopardise my ability to play the game I love.

“If I keep swinging the way I am then I will always be requiring operations and cortisone injections and no-one can go on like that. At first it felt like negative news – especially because I am going to miss some important events – but I am actually feeling pretty positive.

“I now know that it is my swing that is causing this recurring issue and if I address that then the problem should go away.

“I have a plan in place with my coach, Alan McCloskey, and he is confident the changes we make will also help my game in the long term.

“I need to strengthen the muscle in my left arm and change the way my left wrist works through the swing.

“If I can do that then I am confident I can get back to as a high a level as before – if not better. I had a cortisone injection on Monday so I have to spend the next fortnight resting.

“It means I will miss the BMW International Open in Germany and the French Open, which is a double points event for us this year.

“That will leave me with a week before the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart to practice these swing changes.

“It is unlikely I will be ready to play in time but I would love to be in the field as it is such an important event for all of the Scottish golfers on the European Tour.

“I have a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I feel happy I am now on the road back to full fitness. I would like to think I still have many years of golf ahead of me, both professional and recreational.

“It will be disappointing to sit out some big events over the coming weeks, especially if the Scottish Open comes too soon for me. Hopefully I will be back better than ever.”