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Scotland's Stephen Gallacher prepares to live Ryder Cup dream

Ryder Cup rookie Stephen Gallacher says he will fulfil a lifetime ambition when he tees off at Gleneagles on Friday.

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The 39-year-old endured one of the more nervy journeys to becoming part of Paul McGinley's 12-man team after narrowly missing out on an automatic berth.

Europe's sole Scottish representative finished one shot off the second place needed at the Italian Open in September but was handed a reprieve by McGinley in the form of a wildcard pick.

Gallacher told a news conference on Wednesday that securing a place was the result of hard work and a "conscious effort" to feature at a Ryder Cup on home soil.

"It was my lifetime ambition, my goal, to get here and I'm proud to be here. I'm very excited and it's a little bit surreal because I live so close [to the course]," he explained.

"After Medinah and speaking to Paul Lawrie, it was obviously a massive high for them and listening to them I thought, 'you know what I'm playing better so let's try'.

"I made a conscious effort to get in the team for this one. The course you like, in your home country. I knew I had to have the best year of my life and I've had the best year of my life."

Gallacher is one of three rookies in this year's European team, along with France's Victor Dubuisson and Welshman Jamie Donaldson.

However, Gallacher feels he has the benefit of first-hand advice from his uncle, Bernard - a three-time European captain - as well as the positives of playing in his homeland.

"Certainly he's experienced enough, he's played in eight and had captaincy and vice, too," Gallacher added of his uncle.

"I spent the week with him when my gran was ill in the hospital and he was chatting away, basically giving us good advice.

"Ultimately he wants me to enjoy myself, take time out to soak it in.

"I'm not a rookie to golf, maybe to the Ryder Cup but not to golf. Having it in my home country is making it easier to adapt.

"I don't feel as much of a rookie and the guys have made me feel part of the team and welcome - where better to play than Gleneagles for your first one?

"Playing golf yesterday [Tuesday] off the first and having a round was good, it's just hard to keep it in tow until Friday.

"The course is perfect and there are going to be a lot of birdies. The Ryder Cup is all about drama and passion and I think you're going to get that."

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