Stephen Gallacher has admitted he thought the dream of competing in the Ryder Cup in Scotland was over when he missed out on an automatic place, according to Sky Sports.
The Scot, who lives just 35 miles away from the Gleneagles course in his home in Linlithgow, missed out on an automatic pick to Graeme McDowell by just one shot.
But Gallacher had done enough to earn himself one of Paul McGinley's three wildcard selections and this gave him an opportunity to play in golf's biggest event in his home country.
After agonisingly missing out on an automatic place, Gallacher admitted that he thought his chance had gone.
Gallacher said: "I definitely thought it had (gone), but I made a conscious effort a couple of years ago to get in this one. Especially for my generation, it's never going to be here again. It's a course I like in your home country."
Although Gallacher has only experienced a few days of preparation for the Ryder Cup, the 39 year-old knows the event is one that he wants to compete in again.
"It's the one that hopefully I can kick on from. As I've been here now, you get a taste for it and you want to play more," he added.
Gallacher believes his all-round game has improved this season and thinks that is the reason why he has earned himself a Ryder Cup debut.
"I just improved every single part of my game, whether it be mental, whether it be nutrition, injury prevention, down to my equipment, swing tinkering, the way I go about things, routines, absolutely everything.
"You get a little bit better in every aspect and the big picture gets better through that."
At the beginning of the season, Gallacher realised that a dream Ryder Cup debut could be achieved by an excellent year. After speaking to Paul Lawrie, who played in the last Ryder Cup in Medinah, he learned how special the event is and became determined to appear in one.
"After watching Medinah and speaking to Paul Lawrie quite a bit - he was on a massive high coming off Medinah - I thought, you know what, I'm starting to play a bit better now, let's try.
Best year of my life
"I knew I had to have the best year of my life to get in, and I've had the best year of my life so far."
Gallacher isn't the first member of his family to compete in the Ryder Cup with his uncle, Bernard, playing eight times and captaining Europe on three occasions. The debutant revealed that his uncle has given him plenty of advice as Europe attempt to defend the trophy.
"He says you're going to have long, long days, so it's all about conserving your energy," Gallacher revealed.
"Ultimately he wants me to enjoy myself, take a time-out to soak it in, 'just be yourself, play your own game'."
Gallagher, who has won four European Tour titles, admits that playing in this event at Gleneagles is a dream come true and can't wait for it to begin on Friday.
"It was my lifetime ambition, it was my goal to get here. I'm proud that I'm sitting here. I am very excited and it is a bit surreal still, because I live so close. But it's one I'm embracing and just trying to use the positive energy.
"Playing yesterday, getting off the first and playing a round was good, hitting the first tee shot and whatnot. It's just hard to keep it in now until Friday."
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