It’s all go for January after the R&A and USGA published their finalised Rules of Golf. So what’s coming in? Steve Carroll outlines the changes.
Gallacher can’t wait for 2016 Ryder Cup qualification to begin
Stephen Gallacher is preparing for this week’s Qatar Masters, but his thoughts could wander towards the start of 2016 Ryder Cup qualification later this year as he prepares to earn a place in the European team once again.
The qualifying process for the 2016 Ryder Cup begins on August 20th and Gallacher, who found his way into the team last year via a wildcard selection, is determined to qualify automatically for the trip to Hazeltine.
“I didn’t play in Abi Dhabi as I wanted to have a proper rest over the festive break but the big goal is to be fresh towards the end of the year when the Ryder Cup qualifying points start,” Gallacher said.
“I also will be focusing hard on getting my schedule right so that I can peak in certain parts of the year.
“It was great getting picked last year for the Ryder Cup but I just played too many events chasing a qualifying place, so I don’t want to go through that again next year.
“But then I am already in a better place compared to this time last year as I was only into two of the four Majors but standing here now with a day before my first event of the New Year, I am into all four.
“So it’s been a massive turnaround in the past twelve months, and besides if you are going to qualify for the Ryder Cup you need to be playing the four majors.”
Gallacher will be playing three consecutive events including next week’s defence of his double winning Dubai Desert Classic title, before playing the Malaysian Open the following week.
The Scot will be making only his second trip across the pond next month with the practical guarantee of an invitation to tee up in the February 26th PGA Tour Honda Classic in West Palm Beach, Florida.
He will then compete in the following week’s WGC – Cadillac Championship whilst his management team are working on an invitation for the following week’s Valspar Championship at Tampa.
The first time Gallacher landed in the States just after New Year was to visit the headquarters of his equipment sponsor, TaylorMade, in Carlsbad, California.
And he says he was fitted with all the best gear ahead of what he hopes will be a successful year both for him and for TaylorMade.
“I was over in the States for four days where I was also catching up with Dave Stockton as he couldn’t see my before Christmas,” he said. “However visiting the TaylorMade facility for a first time was just amazing, and it’s incredible the behind the scenes testing and analysis that goes on in taking up onto the first tee.
“I got fitted-up with new clubs, the new R15 driver, all the clothing I will wear this year, shoes and it’s brilliant.”
Stephen Gallacher will attempt to qualify for the European Ryder Cup team later this year without having to rely on a wildcard selection, and he will be doing it with a selection of the best TaylorMade equipment on the market today, including the brand new TaylorMade R15 range, which is available now at american golf.