Tom Watson admits he’s envious of Stephen Gallacher as the Lothians star prepares to make his Ryder Cup debut on his own doorstep.
From Gallacher’s home in Linlithgow to Gleneagles, it’s just 37 miles, making him a real ‘Local Hero’ in Scotland’s first Ryder Cup since the 1973 match at Muirfield.
“I know how it is to play in front of your hometown fans with the senior tournaments,” said Watson when asked about the extra thrill the 39-year-old is experiencing on his debut in the biennial bout.
“But I haven’t had the pleasure of playing close to my home in Kansas City in a major, which is a pity as it would be a lot of fun.”
Last year, at an event in America, Gallacher played a practice round with Watson, who admitted he’d made a point of congratulating the Dubai Desert Classic champion on his success in making Paul McGinley’s team this week.
“I saw him on the practice tee yesterday so went over and said, ‘I’m very happy for you to make the Ryder Cup team’,” revealed the five-times Open champion.
Continuing the story, he added: “‘I know how excited you must be as you don’t live too far from here’.”
Watson is tipping Gallacher, who played his first practice round in the company of Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, to revel in the atmosphere of a home support rather than feel overawed by the occasion.
“He’ll have all the support and that’s always a good thing when you’re out on the golf course,” said the American captain.