Lothians star Stephen Gallacher has showered praise on Paul Lawrie for delivering a new European Tour event in Scotland next season.
The former Open champion and two-times Ryder Cup player yesterday unveiled details of the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play at Murcar Links in Aberdeen from July 30-August 2.
It will feature a 64-man field, who will battle it out for a share of the £1 million prize fund in a straight knock-out, match-play contest.
The event has been guaranteed for the next three seasons, with the option to move it around Lawrie’s native North East during that time something that is under consideration.
“It’s brilliant and Paul has to be commended for giving back to the Tour,” said Gallacher on hearing the news as play was abandoned for the day in the second round of the £4.4 million Turkish Airlines Open due to thunder and lightning.
“Paul’s always be that way inclined and Scottish golf should be rightfully proud of his continuing contribution to growing the game back home.”
Gallacher, one of Lawrie’s closest friends on the European Tour, added: “Also two weeks after The Open sounds a good spot on the calendar and let’s hope he gets a good field. There’s no doubt Murcar is a great links course, and I’ve played there many times before, and it’s a great venue for a match-play tournament.
It means the 2015 European Tour schedule, due to be announced in full in Dubai next weekend, will include four events in Scotland.
The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Gullane in July will be first up, followed straight afterwards by The Open at St Andrews. Then, after the new event, the Dunhill Links will again be held at St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns.
Gallacher was in the bunker off the 11th tee when play was halted on day two at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal. One-under for the day and six-under for the event, the Dubai Desert Classic champion was sitting seven behind the leader, Ian Poulter.
“I was playing pretty decent before the siren sounded,” said Gallacher. “ So the Tour made the right decision to bring us off and now with the possibility of more storms it’s only proper they halt play.”