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Gallacher insists Scots can capitalise on tennis feelgood factor in 'fifth major'

Stephen Gallacher is eager to feed off the sporting feelgood factor whipped up by Andy Murray's success as he prepares to launch his assault on the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open title at Castle Stuart.

Stephen Gallacher is one of 19 Scottish players in the Castle Stuart field
Stephen Gallacher is one of 19 Scottish players in the Castle Stuart field

Gallacher, the two-time European Tour winner, is one of 19 home hopefuls competing in the domestic showpiece and the 38-year-old has arrived in the Highlands in a purposeful mood. No Scot has won his home Open since Colin Montgomerie at Loch Lomond back in 1999.

However, Murray's victory in the Wimbledon men's final on Sunday, the first by a British male in 77 years, continues to reverberate throughout these shores and Gallacher admits it has been hard to not take inspiration from the exploits of his celebrated countryman.

"Look at Andy last week. He had the whole of Britain pressurising him and he came through it," said Gallacher, who won the Dubai Desert Classic on the European circuit earlier this season. "You have to use it to your advantage. If you can't take inspiration from him then you're in bother. If you can't get up for playing a course like this and playing in front of the Scottish fans, then there's something wrong.

"There are 19 of us here this week. This is the fifth major for any Scot playing here. The more people you have in the field, the more chance you have a Scot knocking it off. The feelgood factor, and the fact that everybody is doing well [on the European Tour] this year can only help the spirits."

Gallacher, who will compete in the Open at Muirfield next week, enjoyed time in Murray's company during a break in Abu Dhabi at the start of the year and the former Scottish Amateur champion enjoyed the opportunity to witness his compatriot's strong work ethic at close quarters. The Bathgate man, who was fourth in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond in 2010, added: "When you see the people around him and what he puts in, you realise if you want it, you have to work hard."

Gallacher is in one of the marquee groups for the opening two rounds at Castle Stuart, a three-ball including Phil Mickelson, the three-time Masters champion, and triple major winner Padraig Harrington.

Paul Lawrie, the 44-year-old former Open champion, will be the old hand among the young guns having been drawn with Denmark's Thorbjorn Olesen and Matteo Manassero, the new BMW PGA champion.

Marc Warren, who had the Scottish Open in his grasp coming the down the closing few holes last year but stumbled on the run-in, begins his challenge this year in the company of the reigning Open champion Ernie Els and the Swedish Ryder Cup player, Henrik Stenson.

Scott Jamieson, another Scottish European Tour winner this year, will compete alongside the 2011 Claret Jug winner Darren Clarke with Martin Laird striding out with the rejuvenated Englishman Paul Casey, who claimed his first win in over two years at the recent Irish Open.

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