THIS week’s British Masters could be an uphill struggle in more ways than

one for Stephen Gallacher.

With some serious clambers that would have the Grand Old Duke rethinking his tactics, Gallacher’s general fitness will get a rigorous test over the next couple of days here at Close House.

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At least he’s on his feet again. After the first round of last week’s Portugal

Masters, the former Ryder Cup player found himself on a drip to deal with

dehydration brought on by chronic sinusitis.

“Last week floored me,” said Gallacher. “I’m about 80 per cent at the

moment. That’s why I just played the Pro-Am, especially on what is a physically demanding course here.

“It is going to be a bit of a battle and I started to feel a bit tired towards the

end of the Pro-Am. There are only three or four hills, but they are steep ones.”

At 86th on the money list, Gallacher has something of a brae to climb if he is to make the end-of-season race to Dubai finale. “One good week and you are into everything at the end of the season,” added the Scot as he targets to the top-60.

Scott Jamieson, meanwhile, has arrived at Close House happy to be avoiding, well, a close shave. Over the last couple of seasons, the 33-year-old has endured a nail-nibbling battle to retain his playing rights but the

former Scottish amateur No.1 is looking upwards instead of peering

over his shoulder this week.

A share of 20th place in the Portugal Masters gave his campaign a timely lift as he ended a run of five successive missed cuts and moved to the comfort zone of 71st on the Race to Dubai. Jamieson started his year with a fourth and a third in South Africa and India and then earned around £150,000 from two sturdy showings in the BMW PGA Championship and the Irish Open. Having cemented his place in the upper reaches of the money list with that profitable push, Jamieson endured something of a mid-season slump. Now he’s looking to end the year with a telling surge.

“Perhaps that [loss of form] was down to how the previous two years had been,” he said. “I maybe got a bit lazy because I had a few decent finishes.

I made good cheques at Wentworth and Ireland but I wasn’t as switched on

as I should have been after that. You take the eye off the ball.

“But at the end of the season, you’re always more switched on, whether

you’re fighting to keep your card or trying to get into the Final Series.”

Jamieson and Gallacher are two of seven Scots in action here. Paul Lawrie

was a late withdrawal with a longstanding

foot injury