Stephen Gallacher’s gutsy effort in the wind in the second round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic could have the shine taken off it through no fault of his own.
The Lothians star, a two-time winner, had jumped up 24 spots on the leaderboard after a battling one-under-par 71 in testing conditions at Emirates Golf Club. But, just as he sat back to see how the afternoon starters would fare, play was initially halted then suspended for the day due to European Tour officials fearing for the safety of players and spectators. That was a real blow to the likes of Gallacher after they had played their first round on Thursday in a strengthening wind before being sent out in fierce northwesterly winds, for their second circuit.
“That is one of the hardest rounds I’ve ever played,” said the two-time winner of this event. “You could be made to look like a 10 handicapper out there due to the gusts. You could be standing over the ball and see it get caught by a gust after hitting it and see it come up 40 yards short.
“An example of how tricky it was is that in one three-ball you could have one player hitting a 5-iron and another hitting an 8-iron. I had one six-foot putt that I left a foot short – I’ve never had that in my life. It was tricky right from the start, so anything par or better was a good score.
“It’s the mental challenge that is the toughest part in conditions like that. In fact, my caddie, Ryan McGuigan, said to me: ‘If every day was like that, you’d be working in Tesco!”