The Scot hadn’t won in nine years, since a great victory on home soil at the Dunhill Links Championship at St Andrews, but I’ve always thought he had plenty of talent.
Gallacher – the nephew of Bernard and coached by my father, Bob – didn’t push on as expected but was hampered by inuries. Sunday’s win gives him a second bite of the cherry.
It’s a very difficult course in Dubai, especially when a three-shot overnight lead disappears two holes into the final round, but his wonderful 110-yard wedge for eagle at 16 clinched the top prize.
England’s Lee Westwood made a good start to the year, finishing joint fifth. He made a few mistakes due to rustiness but looked in great shape – and all despite the stress of being in the middle of moving house.
Gallacher’s win earned him a top 60 ranking and qualification for the four WGC events, and closer to a guaranteed place at the Masters.
A man who looks sure to challenge at Augusta is Phil Mickelson, who won the Phoenix Open in 28 under par – a sensational performance and the second lowest score ever in a 72-hole PGA Tour event.
It’s great when champions regain top form and Mickelson, a three-time Masters winner, now looks an even better bet at the year’s first Major.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam