Stephen Gallacher summed up his three-week desert disappointment by declaring: “The game I’ve got just now I’d be struggling to break par round Bathgate.”
An early exit from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, which he won in both 2013 and 2014, made it a hat-trick of missed cuts for the Lothians star on the European Tour’s Desert Swing.
The 41-year-old had been a combined 71-under-par for his last 16 rounds on the Majlis Course, having finished second and third either side of an historic double at The Emirates Golf Club. But a second-round 75 – his worst effort since opening with a 73 in 2010 – for a one-over-par 145 aggregate saw him miss out on the weekend for just the third time in 17 appearances in this event.
“A lost ball wasn’t the best start,” said Gallacher of finding himself having to make a lonely trudge back to the tenth tee after his opening effort of the day had been pulled left into waste area at the par-5.
“But the game I’ve got just now I’d be struggling to break par round Bathgate,” he added of the club where he cut his golfing teeth and is considerably easier and shorter than European Tour tests.
“You can try your best but when you are missing right and left it’s tough – and I’ve had that for three weeks. It was a bit better yesterday but the fact I had 27 putts for two-under showed that I scrambled like mad.”
The 2014 Ryder Cup player now has a week off before heading to Malaysia then Australia for the Maybank Championship and Perth International respectively.
“I have to try and stay positive,” he insisted. “There’s nothing else I can do than keep working hard and try to find a way to get it round the course again.”
Spaniard Rafa Cabrera-Bello, the 2012 winner, leads by one at the halfway stage from a group that includes record three-time champion Ernie Els.