Stephen Gallacher wouldn’t change what he did in 2015, despite his slip down the world rankings but he’ll do it a lot smarter next time.
From 31st in the world a year ago, Gallacher slid to 121st as 2015 draws to a close, as he attempted to play both sides of the Atlantic and make the most of his opportunities stemming from his Top 50 position and Ryder Cup selection.
And while he thinks a reaction to the epic chase for the Ryder Cup place at Gleneagles might have affected him, he knows now where he went wrong this year.
“In hindsight, it was always going to be tough to follow up a year where you’d met all your goals,” he said. “But it’s really hard to play both tours, that maybe killed me a little bit.
“It’s so hard mentally and physically to play both circuits. You’ve got to give up tournaments both here in Europe and there. It was a big learning curve.
“It’s hard to time-manage it well, but I’ve learned a lot from this. My stats have been just about the same as they were when I had my good season, but I’ve just not been putting as well, a shot and a bit out (on 2014). I’m playing consistently and well, I just need to start scoring again.”
Despite the disruption and fatigue, going to America was the right thing to do, he said. “I would do it again, it’s just I’d do it a bit more cleverly the next time. I’d have more time off and condense the trip. I probably wouldn’t play in the US the week before the main tournament; I thought you had to go out a week early and get acclimatised, but you don’t really need that. If you’re going to play on their tour outside the majors and WGCs, you’ve got to stay and play on it.
“In the end, the only reason that you have the chance out there is that you’ve done well here in Europe. I know the guys here, the courses, sticking to what I know best will work for me.
“Would I want a crack at the FedEX? Speak to any player with ambition, they’d have a go. But I need to give my body a chance to recover more.”
Gallacher will wait until Abu Dhabi next year before launching his season, and he plans plenty of rest time to be refreshed between now and then.
“You’re always learning, I’m 41 years old and still learning about management of my time,” he said. “I can get up the rankings like I did in 2014, it’s doable. An early win to get me back in the top 60, and couple of good weeks, you never know. I have a slim chance of getting back in the Ryder Cup, I’m realistic about that, but you only need to hit a bit of form.
“I’m going to play over here, pick a schedule of courses I like, maybe play a bit more than normal, but just try and get back up the rankings by being consistent.”