sport

Gallacher picks up Tour award

Stephen Gallacher has been named European Tour Golfer of the Month for January after successfully defending his Desert Classic title in Dubai.

The Scot, who was tied for second in the event in 2012, equalled a nine-hole scoring record of nine-under-par 28 - which included seven birdies and an eagle - on his way to victory.

The 39-year-old said: "I am really pleased to be named the European Tour Golfer of the Month for January especially given some great performances by players both in South Africa and the Desert Swing events.

"To be picked ahead of the likes of Louis, Pablo and Sergio, who were all winners last month, means a lot to me and I am very grateful to be recognised in this way.

"The Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Emirates Golf Club is obviously a special event for me and to be given this award makes it an even more memorable month."

Veteran TV commentator Renton Laidlaw, a member of the judging panel, said: "Louis Oosthuizen's performance was remarkable, Pablo Larraz?l won with Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson breathing down his neck and Sergio Garcia produced a sparking finish.

"But Stephen Gallacher became the first player in 25 years to defend the Omega Dubai Desert Classic and he did it with two back nines to die for in the third and fourth round against arguably the strongest field of the month.

"Stephen is an excellent ambassador for the European Tour, he dug deep on the final day and he fully deserves to be the European Tour Golfer of the Month for January."