Jacklin thrilled rookie Gallacher proved him wrong

Tue Sep 2, 2014 9:55am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Former captain Tony Jacklin is delighted Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher made him eat his words by securing a place in Europe's team for the showdown with the United States in Scotland this month.

Jacklin, Europe's most successful skipper of all time having won two matches, tied one and lost one, told Reuters at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in May that he thought the 39-year-old Scot was "a bit iffy sometimes" and "a bit tender-minded".

Gallacher came within a whisker of dislodging Graeme McDowell from the automatic nine Ryder Cup qualifiers and received his reward on Tuesday when he was picked by captain Paul McGinley as a wildcard choice along with Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood.

"I criticized Stephen because I thought his performances were a bit lethargic," Jacklin told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday. "But he has put his heart and soul into it since then and has done really well.

"If I helped him in any way I'm pleased I said what I said. I didn't mean it in any derogatory way and he has certainly proved he is made of the right stuff and I think he's capable of having a great Ryder Cup."

Jacklin's comments provoked an angry response, especially among Gallacher's fellow countrymen, but the 70-year-old Englishman said perhaps it was the gee-up the triple European Tour winner needed.

Asked if the 2013 and 2014 Dubai Desert Classic champion had proved him wrong, Jacklin replied: "Absolutely. If what I said made him move up a gear or two, then it was worth saying it.

"We all need a bit of a kick up the backside every now and then and he's performed brilliantly since then. For a guy who doesn't play regularly in America I think he's done a great job and I'm delighted for him that he's got in the team."   Continued...

Tony Jacklin of England tees off on the first hole during the first round of the Mission Hills World Celebrity Pro-Am golf tournament in Haikou, China's Hainan province October 20, 2012. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu