Gallacher goes back-to-back in Dubai

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher is celebrating shooting a final round 72 to become the first player to successfully defend his Dubai Desert Classic title on the 25th anniversary of the event.

Gallacher fought back from four bogeys over his opening eight holes, and including finding himself in a five-way tie for the lead after 11 holes, to win by a shot with a 16-under par total.

Stephen Gallacher Stephen Gallacher successfully defends his Championship at the 2014 Dubai Desert Classic (Credit: Eoin Clarke/www.golffile.ie)

The win is just the 39-year old’s third victory in 18 years and 431 events competing on the European Tour and Gallacher will also earn a place later this month in the WGC – Accenture Match-Play Championship in Arizona.

Gallacher’s win also gains him entry into the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational, HSBC Champions and the 2015 Volvo Champions.

“It took everything I had to win today especially after the start I had when I bogeyed the first two holes,” he said.

“I then just tried to build on yesterday’s performance and stay patient, basically.

“The good thing is that I was fortunate that no one was running away with the tournament and being only a couple back, and with three par fives still to play.”

“The turning point came at 11 when I holed a nice putt for birdie and then to draw level for the lead with seven holes to play, I thought I still had a strong chance.”

Victory will lift Gallacher 30 places on the World Rankings to 37th and the assurance of being in the four Majors this year.

However of more immediate interest is that Gallacher qualifies for the February 19th commencing $US 9m WGC – Accenture Match-Play Championship in Arizona.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo secured his best ever Tour finish when the 21-year old eagled the last hole in a round of 66 and a 15-under par total.

Frenchman Romain Wattell also shot a 66 to secure third place on 14 under par.

Rory McIlroy struggled shooting a 74 to end at 12-under par.

World number one, Tiger Woods, left Dubai buoyed after he birdied his closing three holes in a 71 for a share of 41st place at six under par.