Open special: Stephen Gallacher to be a pundit

Stephen Gallacher is following in his uncle Bernard’s footsteps - by being part of the Radio Five Live commentary team at The Open.
Stephen Gallacher will provide epxeter analysisStephen Gallacher will provide epxeter analysis
Stephen Gallacher will provide epxeter analysis

The Lothians star was disappointed that he didn’t qualify for the final major of the season at Royal Portrush, having seen his final chance go abegging in last week’s Scottish Open at The Renaissance Club.

But he jumped at the chance to be out on the fairways providing expert analysis, just as his uncle did for a number of years, at a venue he loves.

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Gallacher’s arrival at Royal Portrush means that Kingsfield Golf Centre on the outskirts of Linlithgow now has two people attached to it working here this week.

David Burns is over in his role as Bob MacIntyre’s coach, having helped the 22-year-old from Oban emerge as one of the brighest young stars in European golf.

Burns has been widely praised by MacIntyre over the past few months for his role in the left-hander recording two second-place finishes and also riding hgih in the Race to Dubai in his rookie season on the circuit.

Sam Locke won’t be starstruck after last year

Twelve months after picking up the Silver Medal as leading amateur at Carnoustie, Sam Locke is hoping that another eye-catching display in the Open Championship will boost his bank balance.

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Having come through final qualifying to get himself back on one of the game’s biggest stages at the first attempt since switching to the paid ranks, the 20-year-old is here with a different mindset this time around.

“Well, I’m competing against those guys now,” he replied to being asked if that experience last year had stopped him from feeling starstruck this week by the likes of Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka. “It’s cool to be playing in the same event as all of those players - but now I’m trying to beat them. It’s still cool but I’m here to do a job.”

On this occasion, the Stonehaven man has his mentor, Paul Lawrie, alongside him in the field. “It’s been good so far,” added Locke. “I played 18 holes yesterday and nine today, then got caught in the rain. The course is very good.”