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Gallacher finishes job to win in Dubai

ESPN staff
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Stephen Gallacher's only previous European Tour win was in 2004 © Getty Images
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Dubai Desert Classic leaderboard

Stephen Gallacher clinched the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday to seal a record-breaking four days for the Scot.

His three-shot victory was the second European Tour title of his career and was set up by a stunning third round on Saturday when he carded 62 - the lowest 54-hole total in the history of the competition.

The 38-year-old could only manage a round of one-under on the final day but with nearest rival Richard Sterne only able to match that, he comfortably held on to win at 22-under par overall.

Although Gallacher's Sunday form was not a patch on his display 24 hours earlier, his final round still had its moments. At the 16th he played an incredible approach shot which ended up dropping into the hole at the par-four, taking his tally of eagles during the competition to an impressive five.

Aside from that he holed birdies at the third and ninth to help him recover from a nervy start which saw him bogey the first two holes. Gallacher has waited for nine years to add a title to his Dunhill Links Championship victory at St Andrews in 2004 and was elated at his second Tour title.

"I'm obviously delighted," Gallacher said. "It's taken a long time but it's sweeter now.

"I've holed four shots this week, but you've got to do that these days to win - you need that little bit of magic."

His win will move him up into the world's top 60 ranked players, in turn putting him within striking distance of qualifying for The Masters if he can reach the top 50 by April.

"It's the only major I've never played," he said. "I sit and watch it in the house with the kids every year and obviously it would be a dream to play there."

South African Sterne had erased Gallacher's three-shot overnight advantage after just three holes but his back nine form was too hit-and-miss to win, as he concluded with three birdies but four bogeys to make it his worst round of the competition.

England's Lee Westwood came in joint-fifth after his round of four-under. He was only one shot behind Chile's Felipe Aguilar and Dane Thorbjørn Olesen in third - but his hopes of running them down ended when he hit his second shot into the water on the last hole.

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