Stephen Gallacher has China in his sights

Stephen Gallacher (Getty Images)
Stephen Gallacher (Getty Images)
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STEPHEN GALLACHER is set to end his 2013 globetrotting with a Royal Trophy trip to China in December.

The Lothians star has secured a spot on Europe’s team for the match against Asia along with Paul Lawrie.

It will be Gallacher’s first appearance in the event, which is taking place at Dragon Lake Golf Club in Guangzhou on December 20-22.

“I’ve been confirmed for the Royal Trophy and it will be good to play in that along with Paul,” said Gallacher, who partnered Lawrie in last month’s Seve Trophy in Paris.

Desperate to also make Europe’s team for next year’s Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, he added: “I want to play in as many match-play events as I can.”

The 39-year-old closed with a brace of 68s to finish joint-25th in the Turkish Airlines Open at Montgomerie Maxx Royal, and a cheque for just under £44,000 cemented 18th spot on the money-list heading into this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

“I still didn’t drive it great so struggled once again with the par-5s,” he reported. “Apart from that, 13-under isn’t bad when you are not firing on all cylinders.”

Gallacher won the Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the year and added: “I’m looking forward to this week. I like it out there and I shot a good last round in this event last year [a 66] to finish in the top 20.

“Winning in Dubai earlier in the year was good, so now I’ve a chance to do the double there.”

The former Dunhill Links champion heads to Australia next week to partner Martin Laird and is also hoping to get into the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa after that.

“I’ll have a two-week break after the Royal Trophy and then it will be back to South Africa for the Volvo Golf Champions in the first week in January,” he said.

Meanwhile, European Tour hopefuls Gareth Wright and Neil Fenwick both opened with 72s in the Qualifying School in Girona.

Wright’s level-par effort came on the Stadium Course - Raymond Russell had a 76 there - while it was a two-over start for Fenwick on the Tour Course.